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2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
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2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland

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  • 1. Exploration history of East Greenland 69°–82°NPRE-1918c. 4300 BC – 1823 PaleoeskimosAbout 6300 years ago, long before European whalers and explorers set foot on the east coast ofGreenland, the entire region had been settled by paleoeskimos. The Independence I culture had spreadfrom Ellesmere Island (Canada) across North Greenland and down the east coast as far as ScoresbySund (70°N). A thousand years later a new wave of paleoeskimos, the Independence II culture, retracedtheir predecessors footsteps. Both phases of paleoeskimo expansion coincided with climatic optima, andboth cultures depended for their existence on muskox, hares, birds and fish; their tent rings are widelydistributed along the coasts of East Greenland. About 1100 AD another wave of paleoeskimos, the Thule culture, reached East Greenland, also viaNorth Greenland. They were whale-hunters and possessed skin boats (kayaks and umiaks). Theirmeeting with another group of eskimos which had spread around South Greenland and up along the eastcoast produced the so-called North Greenland mixed culture, which thrived in northern East Greenlanduntil the 1700s. Climatic changes subsequently caused a dramatic population decline, and the lastremnants of this population north of 69°N latitude may have been the group of 12 encountered byDouglas Clavering at Clavering Ø (74°15 N) in 1823. Ruins of their stone and turf winter houses, andtheir summer tent rings, are common throughout northern East Greenland.c.1000–1250 Viking voyagesThe Icelandic sagas include accounts of a number of voyages to Greenland, although most of the placenames recorded have usually been identified with locations in South or West Greenland. Some nameshave appeared in a variety of positions on old charts which were based partly on interpretations of thesagas . The Icelandic Annals refer to the discovery in 1194 of Svalbardr, or Svalbarda í Hafsbotn, the“country of the cold coasts”, which some authorities identify with the Scoresby Sund region (70°–72°N)of East Greenland, and others with Jan Mayen or Spitzbergen. Svalbard is today the official name of thegroup of islands including Spitzbergen which were placed under the sovereignty of Norway by theTreaty of Paris. Direct evidence of a Viking presence in East Greenland north of latitude 69°N is limited to finds ineskimo graves at Scoresbysund of silver buttons and beads and of an ornamented bone comb; these havebeen taken to indicate some contacts between the Vikings and the former eskimo population.1607 Henry Hudson’s voyageIn 1607 Henry Hudson was sent out by the Muscovy Company with a crew of 11 in the HOPE-WELL toseek a passage to Japan and China across the North Pole. He sighted the coast of East Greenland onseveral occasions between latitudes 68°N and 74°N, and on June 22nd 1607 lay off Hold with Hope(73°30 N). The only account of his observations records – “It was a mayne high land, nothing at allcovered with snow: and the North part of that mayne high Land was very high Mountaynes....weethought good to name it, Hold with hope, lying in 73. degrees of latitude”. Hold with Hope is the oldest place name currently in use in East Greenland. While Hudson failed inthe main purpose of his voyage, his accounts of the abundant whales in the waters near Spitzbergen ledto the development of the northern whale-fishery.c. 1614 – c. 1910 Northern whale-fisheryUntil the pioneer charting of the coast of East Greenland by William Scoresby in 1822, the onlyinformation on the region north of latitude 69°N came from the chance sightings of whalers. Britishwhalers began to sail to Spitzbergen waters in 1608, and as a result of their success were joined in 1612by Dutch whalers, and subsequently by French, Spanish, Danish and other nations. Whales becamescarce in the bays of Spitzbergen after 1630, leading to a temporary decline in British whaling. After1720 whales had left Spitzbergen waters and were then sought along the edge of the pack ice. Revival of 1© A.K. Higgins
  • 2. British whaling about 1750 was linked to the introduction of a government bounty. Fluctuations inwhaling returns, especially in the British trade, were influenced by variations in the bounty (whichlasted until 1824), the attacks of hostile privateers (Britain was often at war with France, and in 1814 atwar with France, Denmark and the USA), the weather conditions and whale migrations. In view of thenumbers of whalers engaged in the fishery, there were probably numerous sightings of the Greenlandcoast, but records are few. No deliberate attempts were apparently made to penetrate the ice belt before1822, the general opinion among whalers up to about 1818 being that the land was inaccessible. A note on an Italian map of 1690 by Coronelli records that the Dutch sighted the coast of EastGreenland at about 79°N in 1614, that Broer Ruys reached land at c. 73°N in 1654, and that GaelHamkes Land was found in 1654. A collection of Dutch charts, “De groote nieuwe Zee-Atlas doorGerrit van Keulen” from 1706, includes a chart recording the discovery of t’land v. Broer Ruys in 1655at 73°30 N, t’bay v. Gale Hamkes in 1654 at 74°N, t’land v. Adam in 1655 at 77°NN and t’land v.Lambert in 1670 at 78°30 N. Nearly all these names were preserved by subsequent explorers, and werelater approved in Danified form. In 1761 a Danish whaler, Volquaart Boon, aboard a Dutch or German ship, followed the coast from76°30 –68°40 N, and at about latitude 70°20 N was dragged by a strong current into a wide and deepfjord, the present Scoresby Sund. Other whalers known to have sighted the coast, usually reported asGale Hamkes Land, include DIE FRAU MARIA ELISABETH in 1769, DE SANKT PETER in 1773 andWILLEMINA in 1777. In 1798 British cruisers had captured the Dutch whaling fleet, and by the early 1800s the northernwhale fishery was largely in British hands. A series of prosperous whaling years lasted until about 1826,although with a progressive shift in interest from the Greenland Sea to the Davis Strait (offshore WestGreenland). William Scoresby Senior and his son had notable success in East Greenland waters, andtheir search for the declining whales led to attempts to penetrate the pack ice. William Scoresby Juniorsighted land at 74°N in 1817, and in 1821 observed the coast from 74°30 to 73°30 N. His father alsofollowed the coast in 1821 from 74° to 70°N. However, all these observations were from a greatdistance, and it was only in 1822 that William Scoresby Junior came close enough to the coast toconstruct a chart (see below). Other whale fishers also approached the coast and good catches weremade. From about the 1750s whalers had begun to take seals in increasing numbers. Hamburg and Altonaships are recorded to have taken 50–60,000 seals in the Greenland Sea in 1787. As whaling declined,sealing gained in importance, and Scottish ships began intensive sealing in 1831, and were joined in1847 by Norwegian sealers who subsequently dominated the trade (see below). Whaling in East Greenland waters was maintained largely due to the enterprise of a few notablewhaling skippers. Following the retirement of the Scoresbys’ after 1822, members of the Gray family ofPeterhead were most celebrated, with their equally notable ships, ACTIVE, ECLIPSE and HOPE. Theywere among the few to make paying voyages to the Greenland Sea in the 1870s, and the Peterheadfishery ceased with the retirement of David Gray in 1891. Tom Robertson was among the last to seekwhales off East Greenland, and made regular voyages from 1895 until 1907 with ACTIVE and BALAENAwith moderate success, and occasionally reached land. In 1899 he assisted A. G. Nathorst’s expedition,and took home 10 muskox. The effective end of the Greenland whale fishery is placed at about 1910.1822 William Scoresby’s whaling voyageWilliam Scoresby Junior and his father were important figures in the history of arctic whaling, but werealso natural scientists, and even while engaged in the search for whales concerned themselves withscientific observations of all kinds. One major result of Scoresby Junior’s whaling career was hiscelebrated “An account of the Arctic regions” (published 1820), and another the journal of his 1822voyage which brought back for the first time anything approaching accurate information on the coastalregion of East Greenland (published 1823). Between June and August 1822 Scoresby in the BAFFIN was on numerous occasions close to land,sometimes in company with his father in the FAME, sometimes with other whalers – up to 20 or 30whalers were at times reported in sight. Scoresby succeeded in laying down a chart of the EastGreenland coast between latitudes 69°–75°N, the original of which is now in Whitby Museum. Themost accurate portion is that from 70°–72°30 N, where landings were made at Kap Lister, Neill Klinter, 2© A.K. Higgins
  • 3. Kap Brewster and Kap Moorsom, the first recorded by European visitors; areas farther north wereobserved from a great distance. Scoresby recorded geological, botanical and zoological observations.Scoresby Sund received its name after William Scoresby Senior, and Hurry Inlet was explored. One ofthe most important results of Scoresby’s survey was a correction of the serious errors of longitudes onearlier charts, which had placed the coast of East Greenland between 7° and 14° too far to the east.Scoresby’s charts were sufficiently accurate that subsequent explorers have had little difficulty inrecognising the features he laid down, and nearly all of Scoresby’s 80 place names have survived.However, a few earlier Dutch names were misplaced by Scoresby, and some of his capes subsequentlyproved to be mountains standing well back from the coast. The majority of Scoresby’s place nameswere given after his friends, notably including a number of scientists who had encouraged his scientificinterests.1823 Voyage of Douglas Clavering and Edward Sabine in the GRIPERThe British Board of Longitude decided that Edward Sabine’s pendulum observations should becontinued to the most northerly latitude possible, and appointed Douglas Clavering as captain of theGRIPER for a voyage to Spitzbergen and Greenland in 1823. After completion of observations inSpitzbergen, course was set for Greenland. An attempt to penetrate the ice belt at 77°N latitude failed,and the coast was eventually reached at about 74°N. An observatory was set up on Sabine Ø (74°35 N) on August 13th, and the pendulum experimentssuccessfully completed. Meanwhile a boat journey was made by Douglas Clavering to the presentClavering Ø (74°15 N), where the only recorded meeting with the last remnants of the North Greenlandmixed culture eskimos was made on 16th–19th and 23rd–24th August 1823. Clavering also exploredand named Loch Fyne (73°45 N). In the course of the voyage Clavering, with his midshipman Henry Foster, surveyed the coastbetween 72°30 N–74°N, joining up their charts with the 1822 observations of William Scoresby. All ofClavering’s 18 names have survived. Most were given for Scottish localities and friends, while theisland group on which the pendulum experiments were carried out is commemorated as the PendulumØer.1831 Albert Haake and the BREMENAlbert Haake sailing on the BREMEN was reported to have made a landing in East Greenland at about74°N in July 1831, and reported a broad strip of ice-free water along the coast.1833 Jules de Blosseville and LA LILLOISEJules de Blosseville was a French naval officer who in 1833 had command of the brig LA LILLOISE, andthe task of maintaining order among the whalers and fishing vessels around Iceland. On July 29th hesighted the coast of East Greenland between 68°-69°30 N which now bears the name Blosseville Kyst.He returned to Iceland to dispatch a report and sketch-map of his discoveries, and on August 5th set sailagain to continue his observations, but vanished without trace with his crew of 80. His sketch mapincluded a number of names, mostly given for ministerial officials, and while exact identification of hisnamed features was often not possible, Georg Carl Amdrup’s 1898–1900 expedition preserved many ofthem. Only four were given for features north of latitude 69°N, of which two names survive on modernmaps – Rigny Bjerg and D’Aunay Bugt.1847–1959 Norwegian fishing and hunting voyagesNorwegian sealers made their first appearance in the Greenland Sea in 1847, and within a few yearsattained a dominance of the trade. Sealing reached its height in the 1850s, in one season 40 ships taking400,000 seals. Norwegian landings on the coast of East Greenland can be dated back to 1889, a poorsealing season, when HEKLA captained by Ragnvald Knudsen visited the coast between 73°30 N–75°30 N. HEKLA returned home with a substantial catch of more than 2700 seal, 267 walrus, nine bearand 24 muskox. In subsequent years Norwegian sealers periodically followed HEKLAs example, visitingthe coastal waters to supplement their catch of seal. It is on record that 142 visits to the coast were madeby Norwegian ships between 1889 and 1931, numbering usually one to four each year, but with eight in1900. Catches were sometimes notably large, that of ASPØ in 1898 including 66 bear, those of 3© A.K. Higgins
  • 4. SØSTRENE and SPIDSBERGEN in 1899 including 79 and 69 muskox respectively, and the first two livemuskox calves, while SPIDSBERGEN in 1901 took 46 walrus. In 1908–09 the first Norwegianoverwintering expedition was led by Severin Liavaag, followed in 1909–10 by Vebjørn Landmark’sexpedition. Norwegian ships made something of a speciality of bringing live muskox to Europe for saleto zoos, and it is said a total of 290 muskox were brought back between 1899 and 1969. After the signing of the Danish-Norwegian treaty on East Greenland in 1924 (ØstgrønlandsTraktaten, see below), a succession of Norwegian and Danish fox-hunting expeditions wintered in EastGreenland, some state-supported while many others were private initiatives. Many are briefly describedindividually below. In 1946 Norwegian hunting was resumed under the auspices of Arktisk Næringsdrift and HermannAndresen (see also below). By 1959 hunting had virtually ceased following withdrawal of statesubsidies and falling skin prices. As a consequence of reduced Norwegian activity, and other factors,Denmark availed itself of the termination clause in the Danish-Norwegian treaty, which expired on July9th 1967.1869–70 Die zweite deutsche Nordpolarfahrt, led by Karl KoldeweyThis expedition was organised on the initiative of the noted German geographer August Petermann, whohad suggested an attempt be made to reach the North Pole along the coast of Greenland or Spitzbergen.A reconnaissance expedition led by Karl Koldewey in the GRØNLAND was sent out in 1868, but failedto penetrate the pack ice off East Greenland, and eventually reached Spitzbergen. Based on thisexperience a larger scale expedition was organised, and in June 1869 the steamer GERMANIA, especiallybuilt for the voyage, together with the schooner HANSA, set out for East Greenland. GERMANIA reachedland at 74°N latitude, but HANSA was crushed in the ice and sank off the coast of Liverpool Land, thecrew drifting on an ice floe down the coast eventually reaching land near the eskimo settlements in WestGreenland. GERMANIA was captained by Karl Koldewey, and the officers included the Austrian lieutenant JuliusPayer, Ralph Copeland as surveyor, Carl Börgen as meteorologist and Adolph Pansch as surgeon. Afterattempts to penetrate along the coast with the ship failed, GERMANIA anchored in Germania Havn(74°32 N) where it over-wintered. In autumn 1869 sledge journeys were made to Fligely Fjord, Kuhn Ø,Clavering Ø and Tyrolerfjord (74°–75°N). In spring 1870 an attempt was made to penetrate northwardsalong the unknown coast with two sledges and 10 men, and reached just beyond 77°N latitude. Furthersledge journeys were made to Ardencaple Fjord, Shannon and Clavering Ø. In summer 1870 attempts were made to press northwards with GERMANIA, but without success, andthe expedition turned southwards to discover and partially explore Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord (73°15 N).A peak adjacent to Payer Tinde was climbed, from the top of which Petermann Bjerg was sighted farinland to the west. Although the expedition failed to reach the North Pole or to demonstrate a practicalroute, it made important geographical discoveries and mapped large parts of the coastal region of EastGreenland between 73°–77°N. Important meteorological, geological, botanical and zoologicalobservations were made. This expedition was the first to report muskox in East Greenland. The detailed maps of the expedition record about 125 new place names, nearly all of which surviveon modern maps. The names proposed were evidently the work of a committee and incorporate manysuggestions of August Petermann. Most were given for prominent German scientists, the scientists andofficers of the ships, and colleagues who had assisted or promoted the expedition. Others were givenduring the expedition and commemorate incidents (e.g. Stormbugt), or the appearance of features (e.g.Eiger, Tyrolerfjord, Teufelkap).1879 Orlogskonnerten INGOLF Ekspedition i DanmarksstrædetThe Danish schooner INGOLF captained by A. Mourier was dispatched in 1879 to undertakehydrographical observations in Danmark Strait. It came sufficiently close to the coast to sketch manyfeatures between 65°–69°N. These included a more accurate placing of Blosseville’s Mont Rigny (RignyBjerg).1891–92 Den østgrønlandske Expedition, led by Carl RyderLieutenant Carl Ryder was appointed leader of an 11-man government-sponsored expedition to East 4© A.K. Higgins
  • 5. Greenland, which sailed from Copenhagen in early June 1891 aboard the Norwegian sealer HEKLA,captained by Ragnvald Knudsen. A direct route through the ice pack to Scoresby Sund provedimpractical, and a detour was made to the north, the coast being reached in the vicinity of Hold withHope (73°40 N) on July 20th, and the mouth of Scoresby Sund (70°20 N) on July 31st. After entering Scoresby Sund, a visit was made to Kap Stewart, the site originally planned for thewintering station, but this proved not to be suitable. From a vantage point on Neill Klinter it wasobserved that Hurry Inlet was not a channel as depicted by William Scoresby in 1822, but a closed fjord.Sailing westwards into the unknown inner reaches of Scoresby Sund, a small enclosed harbour (HeklaHavn) was discovered on Danmark Ø, and became the winter harbour for the expedition and ship. From Hekla Havn journeys were made by motor boat into Gåsefjord, Føhnfjord, Rødefjord andNordvestfjord (the first explorations by Europeans), as well as along the coast of Jameson Land. In spring 1892 several sledge journeys were made. The first revisited Fønfjord and Rødefjord, anddiscovered Rypefjord and Harefjord. The second penetrated to the inner parts of Vestfjord.Subsequently journeys were also made to Sydbræ and the inner parts of Gåsefjord. In August 1892 HEKLA left Hekla Havn, with a stop being made at Kap Stewart where a depot house(Ryders Depot) was constructed. HEKLA then sailed via Iceland to Ammassalik, and after a short visitreturned to Copenhagen. In addition to exploration and mapping of the inner ramifications of the Scoresby Sund fjord system,significant botanical, zoological and geological observations were made. About 50 new place names arerecorded, nearly all of which were given for natural features, incidents and the animal life of the region1899 Swedish East Greenland Expedition, led by Alfred Gabriel NathorstA. G. Nathorst led two Arctic expeditions in search of traces of Andreé’s balloon expedition. The firstin 1898 was to Spitzbergen, and the second in 1899 to East Greenland. The 1899 expedition left Stockholm in May aboard ANTARCTIC, met difficult ice conditions, andreached land at Scoresby Sund (70°20 N) where the head of Hurry Inlet was visited. When iceconditions improved ANTARCTIC sailed north to the mouth of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord (73°10 N), andfollowed the entire length of the fjord reaching the inner end for the first time and exploring KjerulfFjord. The connection with Kong Oscar Fjord via Antartcic Sund was discovered, and the network ofinterconnecting fjords and islands explored. Nathorst chose the mapping of these new territories as moreimportant than other scientific investigations. Surveying was largely undertaken by Per Dusén with theassistance of F. Åkerblom. About 94 new names appeared on the published maps, many of them givenfor supporters of the expedition, for expedition members, and notably for members of Nathorst’s ownfamily.1900 Carlsbergfondets Expedition til Øst-Grønland, led by Georg Carl AmdrupThis was a three-year expedition, but the work of the first two years (1898–1899) was entirely in theAmassalik region (65°–66°N), and it was only in 1900 that it turned its attention to surveying andexploration of the almost unknown coast extending northwards to Scoresby Sund. ANTARCTIC left Copenhagen in mid-June 1900 with an 11-man expedition led by G. C. Amdrup,which reached the coast of East Greenland at Lille Pendulum (74°40 N). Turning southwards theexpedition reached Kap Dalton (69°25 N) on July 18th and there divided into two parties. After building a depot house at Kap Dalton, Amdrup set off southwards with a crew of three in an18-foot open boat along the virtually unknown Blosseville Kyst. Ice conditions were more favourablethan expected, and the expedition succeeded in making a rough chart of the coast down to Agga Ø(67°22 N). Ammassalik was reached on September 2nd. Meanwhile, ANTARCTIC with the remainder of the expedition under the leadership of Nikolaj Hartzexplored the islands and fjords north of Kap Dalton, finding hot springs, and running aground in TurnerSund. Entering Scoresby Sund, ANTARCTIC sailed to the head of Hurry Inlet where zoological andgeological excursions were made inland, and Carlsberg Fjord was discovered. Kap Brewster was visitedbefore ANTARCTIC sailed north along the outer coast of Liverpool Land making several landings andcharting further new fjords and valleys. Entering Kong Oscar Fjord (72°10 N) an excursion was madeinto the inner end of Forsblad Fjord mapped the previous year by A. G. Nathorst (see above). The shipthen left the coast for Iceland, prior to fetching Amdrup’s party at Ammassalik. 5© A.K. Higgins
  • 6. 1900 Swedish zoological expedition, led by Gustav KolthoffGustav Kolthoff led a zoological expedition to Spitzbergen and East Greenland aboard FRITHJOF in1900. The expedition reached land at Mackenzie Bugt (73°25 N) on July 31st, sailed north to thePendulumøer where post was deposited on Hvalrosø, and then into Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord andMoskusoksefjord where two muskox calves were captured. A large collection of birds and animals wastaken home, including two wolves.1901 Baldwin-Ziegler depot-laying voyage by the BELGICATo support the possible line of retreat of the Baldwin-Ziegler expedition which was to make an attempton the North Pole from Franz Joseph Land, depots were laid out by the BELGICA in specially built hutson southern Shannon at Kap Phillip Broke and on Bass Rock. The depots were visited and checked byMAGDALENA in 1905 in connection with the relief of the Ziegler Polar Expedition 1903–05.Subsequently the huts were used by Norwegian and Danish hunters.1905 Expédition Arctique du Duc D’OrléansThis expedition aboard the BELGICA was led by Philippe Duc d’Orléans, with Adrien de Gerlache ascaptain. After visiting the west coast of Spitzbergen BELGICA sailed for East Greenland, and off thecoast near Kap Bismarck (76°42 N) met the Norwegian sealer SØSTRENE which had reached latitude77°N and reported ice conditions to be the best its captain had known in 30 years. Thus encouragedBELGICA pressed northwards along the coast, touching land at 77°35 N, and had reached 78°16 N whenstopped by unbroken winter ice. Landings were made at several places, and a rough chart made of newlydiscovered land areas between 77°–78°50 N. Oceanographic, meteorological, geological and botanicalobservations were also made during the voyage. The Duc d’Orléans included 28 new names on his charts, given mainly for members of the Orléansfamily, for notable French and Belgian explorers, and for officers of the ship’s company. He notes withregret that some of the names on his original chart were modified at the request of the Danishauthorities. Thus, his original name Terre de France was changed to Terre de Duc d’Orléans, thepresent Hertugen af Orléans Land. The 1906–08 Danmark expedition (see below) had received a copy of the Orléans chart, and in thecourse of their explorations remapped the area in considerably more detail. They record the difficulty ofcorrectly locating the features seen and named by the Duc d’Orléans, and while preserving as many ofthe original names as possible admit that some positions may be incorrect. Nevertheless, it is thesepositions that have survived on modern charts.1906–08 Danmark-Ekspeditionen til Grønlands NordøstkystThis was one of the largest and most ambitious of early Danish expeditions, whose aims were to exploreand survey the large unknown region between Kap Bismarck (76°42 N) and eastern Peary Land(82°30 N), and link up with the explorations of Robert E. Peary in North Greenland. The expeditionnumbered 28, including scientists, ship’s crew and three Greenlanders, and was led by LudvigMylius-Erichsen. The expedition sailed from Copenhagen on June 24th 1906 aboard DANMARK, met difficult iceconditions, and reached the coast of East Greenland at Store Koldewey (76°30 N) on August 13th. Aftersailing north along the coast to Île de France, DANMARK turned south again to Danmark Havn (76°46 N)which was to become the expedition base for the next two years. During the course of the expedition nearly 200 short and long journeys were made by sledge, boat oron foot. Many of these were made during exploration of the islands and fjords around Dove Bugt southof Danmark Havn. A meteorological station set up west of Danmark Havn at Pustervig was manned fora long period by Peter Freuchen. Two journeys were made across the glacier Storstrømmen, one viaSælsøen to Dronning Louise Land, and the second via Annekssø to Ymer Nunatak. Two long journeyswere also made southwards along the coast to check the depots at Bass Rock (74°43 N), and depositpost. Four depot-laying journeys were made northwards in the winter of 1906–07 in preparation for themain spring sledge journeys. On March 28th 1907 a start was made from Danmark Havn with four 6© A.K. Higgins
  • 7. parties, in all 10 men and 86 dogs. Two of the parties turned back from 80°30 N, surveying on the wayand reaching the ship again in late April. At Nakkehoved the two other parties, led by LudvigMylius-Erichsen and J.P. Koch respectively, parted company. Koch’s party went northwards along the east coast of Peary Land as far as Kap Bridgman, retrievingPeary’s record at Kap Clarence Wyckhoff on the way. Returning southwards they metMylius-Erichsen’s party unexpectedly on May 27th, and then retraced their outward steps to reachDanmark Havn on June 23rd 1907. Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, Niels Peter Høeg-Hagen and Jørgen Brønlund travelled westwards toexplore Independence Fjord and Danmark Fjord, and were forced by open water to spend the summer of1907 on the west shore of Danmark Fjord (81°N), where they and their dogs suffered badly due to poorhunting. They began their return journey in mid-October, but Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen diednear Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79°33 N), while Brønlund reached the east point of Lambert Land(79°12 N) before he also died. Two relief parties were sent out to look for the missing party, the first in autumn 1907, and thesecond in March 1908 which found Brønlund’s body and diary. The bodies of Mylius-Erichsen andHøeg-Hagen have never been found, and the precise route followed by the retreating party fromDanmark Fjord to Lambert Land has remained a lasting topic of speculation. The expedition sailed backto Denmark in August 1908.1908–09 FLOREN expedition, led by Severin LiavaagA seven-man expedition in the FLOREN was sent out from the Sunnmøre district of Norway on theinitiative of Severin Liavaag and the Ålesund merchant Hans Koppernes, and became the firstNorwegian hunting expedition to overwinter in East Greenland. The FLOREN anchored in GermaniaHavn (74°32 N), and two huts were built nearby, at Kap Wynn and Kap Borlase Warren. In the winterhunting was carried out between Kap Herschel and Germania Havn, and in the summer as far north asShannon (75°10 N). Two men were drowned, including Liavaag, when they fell through the ice in May1909 during a bear hunt. The only original published account of the expedition is a diary by Brandal.1909 Expédition Arctique du Duc D’OrléansThe Duc d’Orléans, aboard the BELGICA captained by Adrien de Gerlache as in 1905, made a voyage toEast Greenland, Spitzbergen and Franz Josef Land in 1909. In East Greenland ice conditions restrictedmovements to the area between Hold with Hope and Shannon (73°30 –75°30 N), where they met thesurviving members of the 1908–09 Floren expedition.1909–10 Vebjørn Landmark’s expeditionA six-man Norwegian hunting expedition led by Vebjørn Landmark was sent out in 7DE JUNI on theinitiative of S.Th. Sverre of Kristiania (Oslo). A hunting station was built at Kap Mary (74°10 N), and asmaller house in Germania Havn (74°32 N). Hunting was carried out between Clavering Ø and thePendulum Øer in the winter, and between Jackson Ø and Shannon in the summer. It was this expeditionwhich picked up five members of the 1909–12 Alabama expedition from Bass Rock in 1910.1909–12 Alabama-Expeditionen til Grønlands Nordøstkyst, led by Ejnar MikkelsenThis seven-man expedition was organised and led by Ejnar Mikkelsen, and had as its main aim therecovery of the lost diaries and journals of Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen, who had died with JørgenBrønlund during the 1906–08 Danmark expedition. After a very difficult passage through the pack iceaboard the ALABAMA, the expedition was forced into winter harbour at Kap Sussi on the east coast ofShannon (75°19 N). At the end of September 1909 a sledge journey was made northwards to Lambert Land (79°12 N),where Jørgen Brønlund’s body had been found in 1908, but no significant new documents were foundon the body, and no traces of Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen were found. In March 1910 a five-man sledge party embarked on a long sledge journey northwards, crossingDove Bugt and ascending onto the Inland Ice via the glacier Storstrømmen. Three men then explorednorthernmost Dronning Louise Land (77°N) before returning to ALABAMA, while Mikkelsen and Iver P.Iversen continued northwards along the Inland Ice to the head of Danmark Fjord (80°30 N). From here 7© A.K. Higgins
  • 8. they attempted to retrace Mylius-Erichsen’s route and located two cairn reports. Returning home alongthe outer coast of Kronprins Christian Land the two men met great difficulties, suffered from illness andhunger, and at one point abandoned their equipment and even their diaries to make a dash for DanmarkHavn, where they arrived on September 18th. After a failed attempt to reach their abandoned equipment,they retreated southwards, only to find on reaching Shannon on November 25th that the ALABAMA hadsunk. A house had been built on shore, but there was no sign of their five companions who had left forNorway aboard 7DE JUNI in early August. In spring 1911 Mikkelsen and Iversen made a sledge trip northwards to recover their diaries, but itwas not until the summer of 1912 that the two men were picked up from Bass Rock by the Norwegiansealer SJØBLOMSTEN.1912–13 Den danske Ekspedition til Dronning Louises Land og tværsover NordgrønlandsInlandsis, led by Johan Peter KochJ.P. Koch and Alfred Wegener, both of whom had been members of the 1906–08 Danmark expedition,organised a four-man expedition whose principal aims were to study meteorological and glacialconditions at the margin of the Inland Ice. A traverse of the main ice cap of Iceland with their Icelandic ponies was made, after which theexpedition was transported to Greenland aboard GODTHAAB on loan from the Danish government,arriving at Danmark Havn (76°46 N) on July 23rd 1912. Equipment unloaded at Danmark Havn andStormkap included a motorboat, 16 Icelandic ponies, 20 tons of pony food and a wintering house. During the summer the expedition goods were transported overland and by motorboat, around andacross Dove Bugt as far as Kap Stop, where further progress was halted until the fjord froze over in theautumn. Equipment was then sledged to the front of Bredebræ, and about halfway across the glaciertowards Dronning Louise Land, at which point the winter house Borg was erected. Koch fell into acrevasse on November 5th and broke a leg, but this healed well during the winter. In the spring of 1913 the journey was resumed with the remaining five ponies. Dronning LouiseLand was traversed from east to west via Borgjøkelen, Farigmagsdalen and Kursbræ, and several peaksincluding Dronningestolen and Kaldbakur were climbed. On May 8th the last nunatak was left behindand the crossing of the Inland Ice began, the west coast of Greenland being reached north-east of Prøvenon July 4th.1919–19391919–24 A/S Østgrønlandsk KompagniØstgrønlandsk Kompagni was a Danish hunting company founded in February 1919 on the initiative offormer members of the 1906–08 Danmark expedition. It was based on private capital, with some stateassistance, but poor hunting and the loss of two ships in the ice led to its closure in 1924. The first group of 10 hunters sailed in 1919 aboard the DAGNY to the Danmark Havn region(76°46 N), and established hunting stations at Danmark Havn (Danmarkshavn) and Hvalrosodden, withanother farther south at Germania Havn (74°32 N). The company eventually had 14 stations and hutsbetween Kap Broer Ruys in the south and Hvalrosodden in the north, including two taken over from the1901 Baldwin-Ziegler expedition, and Alabamahus on Shannon built by the 1909–12 Alabamaexpedition. In August 1920 the DAGNY was crushed in the ice off Shannon, before it could reach the northernstations. The crew over-wintered, but two died before the rescue ship TEDDY arrived in 1921. One ofthe hunters, John Tutein, was killed by a bear in February 1921. TEDDY supplied the hunting stations in1921, and also in 1922 and 1923. On the way home in 1923, a bad ice year, TEDDY was crushed in theice, but the 21 crew and hunters eventually reached land in the Ammassalik region, and were picked upby the QUEST in 1924. GODTHAAB subsequently rescued the remaining hunters stranded on the coast.After these losses the company suspended operations. The total catch of the company’s hunters from1919–24 is recorded as 679 fox and 117 bear.1924–25 Foundation of Ittoqqortoormiit / ScoresbysundHarald Olrik had proposed the foundation of a settlement in the unpopulated tracts of Scoresby Sund 8© A.K. Higgins
  • 9. (70°–71°N) in 1911. The project was brought to fruition in 1924 due to the interest and influence ofEjnar Mikkelsen. The “Scoresbysund-Komiteen” was founded on March 24th 1924 with EjnarMikkelsen as chairman, a post he was to hold for 40 years. An appeal to the Danish public wasimmediately successful thanks to the support of Valdemar Galster, editor of the Ferslew Press, and HansNiels Andersen of the Østasiatisk Kompagni purchased a ship for the expedition. GRØNLAND (formerly FOX II) left Copenhagen on July 10th laden with building materials andprovisions, made an easy passage of the ice belt and arrived off the mouth of Scoresby Sund on July24th. At Fox Pynt near Kap Tobin the ship was caught in the ice and lost its rudder, an incident whichled to immediate selection of a site nearby for the settlement without the planned preliminaryreconnaissance. Materials were unloaded at Ferslew Pynt, and GRØNLAND returned home leavingbehind a wintering party of seven, including three carpenteers and three scientists. One of the latter, thegeologist Bjerring Pedersen, died in July 1925, apparently of scurvy. A large house was built at the present Scoresbysund (the name of the settlement is spelt in one wordas ‘Scoresbysund’, to distinguish it from the fjord known as Scoresby Sund) to house the future colonymanager and priest, while houses were built at Kap Stewart, Kap Hope and Kap Tobin for theGreenlander hunters and their families. About 85 Greenlanders/Inuit arrived in 1925, the nucleus of what was to be a successful settlement(see also below).1924–67 Østgrønlands TraktatenThe Danish-Norwegian treaty on East Greenland (Østgrønlands Traktaten) which came into effect inJuly 1924 gave both countries the right to engage in hunting, fishing and scientific activities in theuninhabited parts of East Greenland, including the operation of meteorological stations. However, noagreement was reached concerning sovereignty. The provisions of the treaty were exploited by bothnations. Denmark founded the new colony of Ittoqqortoormiit / Scoresbysund, specifically allowed forby the treaty, and both Norway and Denmark developed hunting activities; Norway opened a radio andweather station at Myggbukta. Danish scientific activities were initiated by Lauge Koch in 1926, withthe first of a succession of mainly geological expeditions under his leadership which continued until1958. Norway also embarked on scientific explorations, the NSIU expeditions of 1929–33, but thesewere suspended when the dispute over the sovereignty of East Greenland was determined in Denmark’sfavour in April 1933. The treaty was to have lasted for 20 years, after which it could be terminated with two years notice.After the 1939–45 war, in which both Danish and Norwegian hunters had cooperated as members ofNordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje, the treaty was extended. It was finally suspended on July 9th 1967,some years after the cessation of hunting activities.1925+ Scoresbysund / IttoqqortoormiitThe first party of Greenlanders / Inuit, about 70 from Ammassalik and 15 from West Greenland, arrivedwith GUSTAV HOLM (formerly GRØNLAND), on September 1st 1925. Different accounts give variousfigures for the actual number of settlers. The first colony manager was Johan Petersen, former managerof the Ammassalik colony for 30 years. The first few weeks were made difficult by an influenzaepidemic, picked up when the ship called at Iceland. By the end of the first year, however, 10 huntershad achieved a catch of 12 narwhale, 700–800 seal, 60 walrus, 115 bear and 71 fox, and favourablehunting subsequently has ensured the survival of the settlement. However, walrus were reported as rareafter 1926. In 1926 the colony was reinforced by a family of 10 from West Greenland, and in 1935 by afurther 35 Greenlanders from Ammassalik. The Greenlanders lived at first in the villages of Kap Stewart, Kap Tobin and Kap Hope, near thebest hunting grounds. A tendency for a concentration of the population at Scoresbysund was laterreported, allegedly due to the influence of the priest. Kap Stewart proved liable to heavy snow, and wasabandoned for long periods. In the 1940s a new settlement was established near Kap Brewster on thesouth side of Scoresby Sund. Hunters also spent long periods at Sydkap in 1934–35, and houses werebuilt there in 1946; however, this site has only periodically been occupied. Hunting huts have been builtin several areas, including Hurry Inlet, the coast of Jameson Land and the east coast of Liverpool Land. In 1927–28 Scoresbysund was expanded with the addition of a church, and 10 houses. A radio 9© A.K. Higgins
  • 10. station was established by Janus Sørensen in 1927. The first shop opened in 1930. In 1932 the Frenchexpedition house built for the 1932–33 International Polar Year was taken over, and used first as thetelegraphist’s house, and later as a hospital. A new hospital was built in 1957. During the war American forces operated a weather station manned by 20–30 men in Hvalrosbugtennearby. A larger ICAO weather and radio station was established at Kap Tobin just south ofScoresbysund in 1947, and closed down in 1980. The population of Scoresbysund, with the settlements at Kap Tobin and Kap Hope, was about 500 in1983. Of these 77 were licenced as full time hunters and 99 as part-time hunters. The yearly catch byregistered hunters amounts to about 6000 ringed seal, 50–70 polar bear, and smaller numbers of otherseals, narwhale and walrus. The activities of Greenpeace and Brigitte Bardot sabotaged the market forringed seal skins after 1978, and as a result bear skins have provided an increased proportion of income.Spring hunting for bears now ranges far afield, south along the Blosseville Kyst, north to Daneborg, andwestwards to Gåsefjord. The East Greenland dialect variations are used for names locally, although West Greenland dialectforms appear on official maps. Thus the East Greenland name for the town, Ittoqqortoormiit, appearson maps as Illoqqortormiut.1925–36 Campagne du POURQUOI PAS?, led by Jean-Baptiste CharcotThe French Polar explorer J.B. Charcot made numerous voyages to the Arctic in his three-mast barquePOURQUOI PAS?, of which seven visited the Scoresby Sund region. During the first visit in 1925 to thenewly founded settlement of Ittoqqortoormiut / Scoresbysund (70°29 N), a short trip was made tonearby Jameson Land. In 1926 Ejnar Mikkelsen and Ebbe Munck were guests on POURQUOI PAS? whenCharcot made a second visit to the Scoresbysund settlement. The voyages between 1931 and 1933 were mainly concerned with the French Polar Station for theInternational Polar Year 1932–33 established at Scoresbysund. Before leaving for home in 1932POURQUOI PAS? visited the Kap Leslie area of Milne Land with Lauge Koch. Charcot returned in 1933to pick up the Polar Year wintering party, the station buildings being handed over to the settlement, andhe also brought up the three-man Cambridge East Greenland Expedition which worked in the HurryInlet area. Charcot once again visited the Kap Leslie area. Charcot returned to Scoresbysund in 1934 and 1936, but on the voyage back to Europe in 1936,POURQUOI PAS? ran into a severe storm after leaving Reykjavik in Iceland and on September 15th waswrecked; only one man survived.1926 Cambridge East Greenland Expedition – led by James Mann WordieJ.M. Wordie led an eight-man expedition to East Greenland in 1926, travelling aboard the HEIMLANDcaptained by Lars Jakobsen. The expedition aims included surveying, archeology and exploration of aroute to the 2971 m high mountain of Petermann Bjerg (73°05 N) seen from a distance by KarlKoldewey’s expedition in 1870. A similar expedition in 1923 on the smaller HEIMEN had failed to reachthe coast due to very bad ice conditions. The 1926 expedition left Aberdeen on June 30th via Jan Mayen, made an easy passage of the ice beltand reached Lille Pendulum on July 12th. Pendulum experiments were made on Sabine Ø (74°35 N),repeating Sabine’s observations of 1823. During the summer, extensive surveying was carried outaround the Pendulum Øer, the west side of Clavering Ø (where Granta Fjord was discovered), Holdwith Hope and the interior of Loch Fyne (leading to the discovery of Stordal), and along the outerpoorly known coasts of Geographical Society Ø and Traill Ø. From the inner part of Kejser FranzJoseph Fjord a route to Petermann Bjerg via Ridderdal was explored, but the short time availableprohibited an attempt on the peak. HEIMLAND left the East Greenland coast on August 25th after callingbriefly at Scoresbysund. In addition to the great improvements to existing charts in the coastal region, success was achievedin correctly placing many of the features named by William Scoresby in 1822; many of his capes provedto be mountains standing well back from the coast.1926–27 Lauge Koch’s geological expeditionLauge Koch’s East Greenland expedition of 1926–27 comprised three geologists and two Greenlander 10© A.K. Higgins
  • 11. dog drivers, and had as its object a general geological survey of the region north of Scoresby Sund(70°15 N). This was the first of a long series of geological expeditions led by Lauge Koch which wereto continue until 1958. The expedition travelled to Greenland with GUSTAV HOLM in July 1926. In August and Septembertwo geologists, Alfred Rosenkrantz and Tom Harris, worked in Jameson Land (70°50 N), while Kochorganised construction of an expedition house in Scoresbysund. In October Koch made a sledge journeynorthwards to Hold with Hope via Hurry Inlet, Kong Oscar Fjord and Sofia Sund, returning westwardaround Ymer Ø and retracing his outward track in November. Between February and June 1927 Koch made a long sledge journey to Danmark Havn (76°46 N). Onthe return journey the fjord system between 72° and 74°N was explored, and an unexpected extension ofDusén Fjord discovered. Meanwhile Rosenkrantz and Harris had continued their work in Jameson Land,and also in eastern Milne Land. The main geological results of the expedition include a geologicalreconnaissance map of the region 70°–76°N. The expedition returned to Denmark aboard GUSTAV HOLM in August 1927.1926–28 Foldvik expeditionThe Norwegian Foldvik expedition was the third to overwinter in East Greenland, but broke new groundin adapting techniques of hunting used in Spitzbergen and Jan Mayen to the larger Greenland terrains.The practice of building numerous small huts over a wide area around a central station was followed byall subsequent Norwegian hunting expeditions. The 1926–28 expedition comprised Nils Foldvik,Hallvard Devold and Fritz Øien (all telegraphists from the Geofysisk Institutt in Tromsø), who withthree other hunters travelled to Greenland in 1926 aboard RINGSEL. Two hunting stations were built, atRevet (74°22 N) and near Kap Stosch (Krogness; 74°03 N), and 17 huts in the surrounding areas.Hunting was carried out between Kap Bennet in the south and Tyrolerfjord in the north, the catchincluding 287 fox, 18 bears and seven wolves. The expedition returned to Norway aboard TERNINGENin 1928.1927–28 Den Danske Gradmåling – ScoresbysundFollowing a short visit to Scoresbysund (70°29 N) in 1926 to choose a site, Janus Sørensen returned in1927 to erect a radio station and seismic station at the settlement. Janus Sørensen made sledge journeysaround the coast of southern Liverpool Land, as a result of which a simple map was prepared. This mapincluded several new names, including Kap Høegh, named for the colony manager.1927–29 Hird expeditionThis six-man Norwegian expedition led by Jonas Karlsbak took its name from the 49-foot fishing boatHIRD which carried it to Greenland, and which sank in winter harbour in the Finsch Øer (74°N) inAugust 1927. The expedition built three hunting stations, one at Kap Herschel, another on the south-eastside of Clavering Ø (Elvsborg), and the third on Jackson Ø; in addition seven huts were erected, ofwhich five were on Wollaston Foreland. Their catch amounted to 352 fox and 42 bears. They returnedhome with VESLEKARI in 1929.1927–29 Alwin Pedersen – ScoresbysundAs a follow up of his work in 1924–25, on the expedition which had founded Scoresbysund, AlwinPedersen organised an independent expedition to continue his zoological studies. Two years were spentat Scoresbysund (70°29 N), during which he made a number of sledge journeys, one of them to theinterior of Nordvestfjord which led to the discovery of new arms of the fjord and the finding of polarbear dens. Another trip took him south of Scoresby Sund as far as Kap Dalton.1928–30 Finn Devold’s expeditionA six-man Norwegian hunting expedition led by Finn Devold sailed to East Greenland in 1928 onTERNINGEN, taking over the Foldvik expedition terrain. A larger station was built at Revet (74°22 N),and four new huts. Their catch amounted to 346 fox, 11 bear and 8 wolves. The expedition returned toNorway in 1930 with VESLEKARI. 11© A.K. Higgins
  • 12. 1929 Cambridge East Greenland Expedition, led by James Mann WordieWordie’s nine-man expedition had two prime aims, the ascent of Petermann Bjerg (73°05 N) andgeological exploration. The HEIMLAND which had been used in 1926 was again chartered, captained byKarl Jakobsen, and departed from Aberdeen on July 2nd. However, ice conditions were severe, and thecoast of East Greenland was not reached until August 4th. From the head of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord six of the party set off via Ridderdal for what proved tobe a successful first ascent of Petermann Bjerg, via Ptarmigan Gletscher, across Nordenskiöld Gletscherand up Disa Gletscher. The summit of Petermann Bjerg was reached via the south-west ridge on August15th. Meanwhile two of the geologists carried out regional geological studies from the ship. The survey work of the expedition, much of it carried out by R.C. Wakefield and AugustineCourtauld, was mainly around the head of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord and Petermann Bjerg. The expedition left the Greenland coast on August 25th, again meeting difficult ice which took themfive days to clear.1929 Lauge Koch’s geological expeditionLauge Koch organised a summer expedition in 1929, financed largely by private contributions with thebalance provided by the Carlsberg Foundation and Rask-Ørsted Foundation; the ship GODTHAAB wasloaned by the Danish state. The expedition numbered 22, including the ship’s crew, four geological parties and one botanicalparty. Difficulties were experienced in penetrating the ice belt both on the way in and out. Work wasmainly carried out in the fjord region between 72°–74°N, with topographical surveying of parts ofClavering Ø, Wollaston Forland, Hudson Land and Ymer Ø.1929–33 Norges Svalbard- og Ishavs-UndersøkelserNorges Svalbard- og Ishavs-Undersøkelser (NSIU) commenced scientific activities in East Greenland in1929 on the initiative of Adolf Hoel, a move coinciding with the foundation of Arktisk Næringsdrift A/Sand the commencement of intensive land-based hunting. From 1929–31 the scientific activities were ona modest scale, and included topographical surveying, oceanographical, botanical, zoological andgeological investigations, mainly in the region between Antarctic Havn (72°N) in the south andWollaston Forland (74°15 N) in the north. Following the declaration of sovereignty over Eirik Raudes Land (71°30 –75°40 N) by Norway in1931, the pace of activities was greatly increased. A major expedition sent up in 1932 in POLARBJØRNincluded two aeroplanes to undertake aerial photography. The judgement of the Court of International Justice at The Hague in April 1933 in Denmark’s favourled to a reduction in activities. The NSIU scientific group in 1933 numbered nine, and from 1934scientific activities virtually ceased. However, NSIU continued to cooperate with Arktisk Næringsdriftin the dispatch of relief ships to serve the Norwegian hunters, as well as supplying the telegraphists atMyggbukta. The majority of place names associated with NSIU are found on the published topographic mapsheets at scales of 1:1 million, 1:200,000 and 1:100,000 topographic maps. Only a selection of the manynames used have been approved for usage on official Danish maps, largely because of the nationalisticclimate associated with the dispute over East Greenland, and an impression that the name-giving wasmore prolific than necessary. However, selections of the NSIU names subsequently appeared on the1951 USAF series of 1:250,000 aeronautical charts.1929–41 Østgrønlandsk Fangstkompagni Nanok A/SThe Danish fox-hunting company Nanok was founded in May 1929 on the basis of a plan by J.G.Jennov, following several failed attempts to revive the old Østgrønlandsk Kompagni. The capital wassecured by the support of several large Danish companies. However, hunting was often poor, and Nanokonly survived with the assistance of the Danish State which provided free transport to and fromGreenland, and the support of private funds, notably Laurits Andersens Fond, Otto Mønsteds Fond,Julius Skrikes Stiftelse, Tuborg Fondet and Kaptain Alf Trolle og Hustrus Legat. The interest in themaintainance of Danish hunting activities was largely a consequence of the challenge to Danishsovereignty of East Greenland by Norway, and the necessity of competing with Norwegian hunters. 12© A.K. Higgins
  • 13. In 1929 Nanok sent up 10 hunters with the ship BIRGILD, accompanied by Jennov and RichardBøgvad, but due to poor ice conditions only the southern hunting stations taken over fromØstgrønlandske Kompagni were occupied. Transport to and from Greenland was subsequently largelyundertaken with GODTHAAB or GUSTAV HOLM, the two ships serving Lauge Koch’s geologicalexpeditions. Ice conditions often meant that stations in one or another area could not be reached,although J.G. Jennov blamed the failure to relieve Nanok’s stations in 1934 on Lauge Koch’sunsympathetic attitude to the Danish hunters. In 1935 GODTHAAB failed to reach the coast, but threehunters were evacuated by plane, and another four by the Norwegian sealer BUSKØ. In 1937 GUSTAVHOLM became trapped by ice in Scoresby Sund, and no stations were reached. Nanok had taken over 14 hunting stations from Østgrønlandsk Kompagni, and built many new hutsin the period 1930–32. In 1932 the GEFION was sent up to reoccupy the station at Danmark Havn, and aradio station was built at Hvalrosodden. Following a fund-raising campaign numerous huts were built in1938, and the company eventually had more than 60 huts between Kap Broer Ruys (73°32 N) in thesouth and Sælsøen (77°04 N) in the north. Operations were suspended in 1941 with the advent of war in Europe, and the hunters returnedhome, moved to West Greenland or North America, or joined Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje. Huntingwas resumed in 1945.1929–42 Arktisk Næringsdrift A/SThe Norwegian fox-hunting company Arktisk Næringsdrift was founded in October 1929. FollowingHallvard Devold’s return from a private hunting expedition to East Greenland, Devold gained AdolfHoel’s interest and support in greatly expanding Norwegian hunting activities, while Hoel saw theopportunity of developing NSIU scientific investigations. Arktisk Næringsdrift began operations in1929, and had hunters in East Greenland continuously until 1942, and again from 1946 to 1959. Thecompany had variable, often substantial, financial support from the Norwegian state, and lesser amountsfrom the Norwegian Meteorological Institute on whose behalf the Myggbukta radio and weather stationwas operated from 1930. Transport of hunters to and from Greenland was undertaken by NSIU from1929–34, after which Arktisk Næringsdrift took over responsibility for ship charter of their own hunters(still in cooperation with NSIU), as well as those of private Norwegian hunting expeditions. Between 1929 and 1931 Arktisk Næringsdrift built 35 hunting huts between Vega Sund andMoskusoksefjord, and by 1938 with the other Norwegian hunting expeditions had established 130hunting huts and stations between Canning Land (71°50 N) in the south, and southern Dove Bugt in thenorth (76°35 N). On June 29th 1931 Hallvard Devold raised the Norwegian flag at Myggbukta and took possession ofEirik Raudes Land, the area between 71°30 N and 75°40 N where Norwegian hunters had been mostactive; this action was supported by Norway who proclaimed annexation on July 10th 1931. The claimwas contested by Denmark, which appealed to the International Court of Justice at The Hague; the casewas decided in Denmark’s favour on April 5th 1933, by a majority verdict (12 to two). Arktisk Næringsdrift had 10 hunters in East Greenland from 1929–31, and subsequently had 5–6hunters active each year. Many spent long periods in East Greenland; Gerhard Antonsen wintered for atotal of seven years at Revet. Norwegian hunters seem to have been generally more successful than theirDanish counterparts, Arktisk Næringsdrift reporting a catch of 3400 fox and 26 bear from 1929–38. Inthe season 1937–38 a single hunter at Kap Herschell caught a record 642 fox. Norwegian hunters arereported to have shot large numbers of birds, including in the period 1928–31 a total of 190 ravens, 40snowy owl, 170 falcons (70 shot by Finn Devold at Myggbukta in 1928), 200 barnacle geese, 80 eiderduck, 65 red-throated diver and 2040 ptarmigan. Supply ships visited the hunting stations every year, those used including VESLEKARI, POLARBJØRN,SÆLBARDEN, BUSKØ and ISBJØRN. The supply ships occasionally carried small parties of tourists orsport hunters. In spite of the outbreak of war in Europe and Norway’s capitulation, VESLEKARI was sentto East Greenland in 1940 to relieve the Norwegian hunting stations as usual. On its return voyage itwas arrested by the FRIDTHOF NANSEN, a Norwegian naval ship in the service of the allied forces, whichalso destroyed the radio facilities at Myggbukta. In 1941 another supply vessel, BUSKØ, was arrested bythe U.S. patrol boat NORTHLANDS. Only three hunters wintered, and in the summer of 1942 huntingoperations were suspended. One hunter went to West Greenland, another joined the U.S. forces, while 13© A.K. Higgins
  • 14. Henry Rudi remained in East Greenland as a member of Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje. All hunting stations and huts had names, some incidental or commemorative, although many wereknown simply by their geographical location. A large number were known by different names atdifferent times. The most exhaustive account of the stations and huts is that of Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen(published 1994).1930 Lauge Koch’s geological expeditionFor this summer expedition, Koch secured passage on the GODTHAAB, which was to visit EastGreenland on a Naval inspection cruise. There were two geological, one zoological and one botanicalparty. Ice conditions created some difficulties, but work was carried out on Clavering Ø, and in parts ofthe Kap Stosch and Moskusoksefjord areas. On the way home the expedition disembarked fromGODTHAAB in Reykjavik, and travelled back to Denmark aboard DRONNING ALEXANDRINE. The summer expeditions of 1929 and 1930 visited the same general region and had many of the sameparticipants.1930 Bob Bartlett East Greenland expeditionRobert A. Bartlett made a journey to East Greenland in 1930 with his schooner EFFIE M. MORRISSEY,accompanied by the big-game hunter Harry Whitney. The main purpose was to collect archaeologicaland anthropological specimens for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. Theexpedition visited the coastal region between 74°–76°50 N, Kap Bismarck being the northern pointreached. Archaeological excavations were made at Kap David Gray and Eskimonæs.1930–31 Constantin Dumbrava’s Scoresby Sund expeditionThe Rumanian scientist Constantin Dumbrava had spent several years in the Ammassalik region, and in1930 moved his area of interest to the Scoresby Sund region, in defiance of the wishes of the Danishauthorities. The Norwegian sealer GRANDE, captained by Bernt Heide, left Dumbrava on the east side ofHurry Inlet in the summer of 1930, where he built a house and made meteorological observations. Thenext year GODTHAAB was diverted to pick him up and extradite him to Europe.1930–31 Deutsche Grönland-Expedition, led by Alfred L. WegenerThe main 19-man party of Alfred Wegener’s expedition to undertake a systematic study of theGreenland ice cap and its climate sailed to West Greenland, and from there ascended to the centre of theice cap and established the Eismitte station. Wegener died during a journey on the ice cap in November1930. A three-man party led by Walther Kapp travelled to the Scoresby Sund region of East Greenlandin July 1930 aboard GERTRUD RASK, with the intention of carrying out supplementary meteorologicalobservations. Initially studies were undertaken around the town of Scoresbysund, but in early Septemberthe party moved with the help of Greenlanders to the west coast of Jameson Land where Wegener’sOststation was established south of the present Gurreholm. The party sledged back to Scoresbysund inMay 1931, and in July sailed for Europe aboard GERTRUD RASK.1930–32 Møre Grønland expeditionThis six-man expedition was led by Jonas Karlsbak, and included four members who had previouslyhunted with the Hird expedition. They travelled up in 1930 with VESLEKARI. Three of the huntersopened up new terrain on the south side of Kong Oscar Fjord with main stations at Antarctichavn andKap Peterséns, and built twelve new huts between Canning Land and Alpefjord. In autumn 1931 KnutRøbek fell through the fjord ice and was drowned. Two men returned home in 1931, and the remainderin 1932 aboard POLARBJØRN.1931 Louise A. Boyd’s arctic expeditionThis was Louise Boyd’s third arctic expedition, but the first to visit East Greenland; the earlierexpeditions were to Frans Josef Land in 1926, and to Spitzbergen and Frans Josef Land in 1928. The1931 expedition was primarily a photographic reconnaissance in preparation for the more ambitious1933 expedition. The Norwegian sealer VESLEKARI was chartered, and in the course of the summerevery fjord and sound between latitudes 72°–74°N was visited. The inner part of Isfjord was visited for 14© A.K. Higgins
  • 15. the first time and Gerard de Geer Gletscher discovered, and from the south end of Kjerulf Fjord a newroute to Hisinger Gletscher was explored and mapped. Alpefjord and Röhss Fjord were also penetratedto their heads. The passengers included the big-game hunter Harry Whitney.1931 Von Gronau’s flight over the Inland IceWolfgang von Gronau with three companions made a pioneer flight in August 1931 from Europe toNorth America in a Dornier seaplane, “Grönland-Wal”, which included a crossing of the Inland Ice fromScoresbysund to Sukkertoppen. After taking off from Scoresbysund, strong winds were encountered inthe inner part of the fjords, and a diversion was made southwards to gain altitude, in the process flyingover unexplored mountains south of Scoresby Sund, one range of which now bears the name GronauNunatakker.1931 Høygaard and Mehren expeditionThe Norwegians Arne Høygaard and Martin Mehren made a crossing of the Inland Ice from west to eastin July and August 1931. On August 6th they sighted the first nunataks of East Greenland at about73°30 N, and during the next ten days made their way through the unexplored glaciers and nunataksbetween 73°30 –74°10 N, eventually reaching northern Strindberg Land, and via WaltershausenGletscher the west coast of Nordfjord. The return to Norway was made with POLARBJØRN.1931 Norcross-Bartlett expedition to the Greenland SeaRobert A. Bartlett and Arthur D. Norcross made a voyage to East Greenland with the schooner EFFIE M.MORRISSEY, their aim being to make collections for the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum ofNatural History and the Heye Foundation. Ice conditions off East Greenland were very difficult, and theship was trapped for 37 days before land was reached at Clavering Ø. Kap Stosch, Shannon and a fewother localities were visited.1931–34 Treårsexpedition til Christian X’s Land – led by Lauge KochThe Treårsexpedition (Three-year expedition) was the largest and most comprehensive expedition sentto East Greenland by Denmark. Based on a plan by Lauge Koch, the financial support came largelyfrom the Carlsberg Foundation and from private contributions, while government support was in theform of transport to and from Greenland in the ships GUSTAV HOLM and GODTHAAB, and the loan ofsea-planes from the Navy. Topographical surveying was entrusted to the Geodætisk Institut. Theexpedition was to extend over four summers and three winters, the scientists wintering in specially builtstations. The specific tasks of the expedition included preparation of a topographic map of the region72°–76°N, together with geological, zoological, botanical, archaeological and hydrographical studies inthe same region. Lauge Koch was empowered as the Danish police authority in East Greenland pending the verdict onsovereignty of East Greenland by the International Court of Justice at The Hague. After the decision infavour of Denmark, Ejnar Mikkelsen was appointed Inspector for East Greenland under the authority ofGrønlands Styrelse, although in practice Lauge Koch continued to represent police authority in EastGreenland during his expeditions until 1939. The 1931 expedition numbered 65, including 22 scientists and their assistants. The principal task ofthe first year was construction of the two main wintering stations at Eskimonæs and Ella Ø, and twosmaller houses at Nordfjord and Kap Brown. Scientific work of all kinds was commenced, but was notextensive during the summer because of difficult ice conditions and the demands of house-building.Geological work was carried out mainly on Clavering Ø, Ymer Ø, Traill Ø and Hochstetter Forland.Ten scientists overwintered in 1931–32, and a great deal was accomplished during autumn and springsledge journeys. The 1932 expedition numbered 95, including 37 scientists and their assistants. Two sea-planes wereloaned by the Danish Navy, one carried up aboard GUSTAV HOLM, and the second brought up on theFrench ship POURQUOI PAS?. Four aerial photographers were loaned by the Army Flying Corps. Theaircraft support led to a considerable increase in the effectivety of the cartographic work, with aerialphotography supporting the ground trigonometric surveys. On the basis of reconnaissance flights aworking chart was prepared of the area 70°–77°N, including many hitherto unexplored regions along the 15© A.K. Higgins
  • 16. margin of the Inland Ice, and was published in 1932 at a scale of 1:1 million. A new house (Kulhus) wasbuilt during the summer on Hochstetter Forland. Scientific studies were carried out between HochstetterForland in the north and Traill Ø in the south. Zoological and hydrographical investigations based onGODTHAAB were carried out in most of the fjord system from latitudes 72°–74°N. Archaeologicalstudies were made on the classical sites on Clavering Ø, and in the district around Ella Ø. Icelandicponies were used with some success for the transport of camp equipment and geological samples.Weather and ice conditions were more favorable than in 1931. Twelve scientists overwintered in 1932–33. The summer of 1933 saw the culmination of the expedition, which numbered 109, of whom halfwere scientists. Weather and ice conditions were very favourable, and in August GUSTAV HOLMreached as far north as the Norsk Øer off Lambert Land (77°N), from where reconnaissance flights weremade northwards to Peary Land. Aerial photography was undertaken throughout the region 72°–76°N,and the ground trigonometrical survey was completed. Geological studies extended from LiverpoolLand in the south to Skærfjorden in the north, and westwards to the innermost parts of the fjord systems.A mining camp was established on Clavering Ø to investigate a mineralised dyke. GODTHAABundertook zoological and hydrographical studies in the Scoresby Sund fjord system. Eleven ponies wereused for transport, mainly at the mining camp. Seven scientists overwintered in 1933–34. The l934 expedition numbered only 65, including 31 scientists and assistants, and had only one ship,GUSTAV HOLM, and one sea-plane. The main work of the summer was geological, including work in thecoastal region between Canning Land and Hudson Land, while inland one party reached CeciliaNunatak and another group led by H.G. Backlund investigated the inner Scoresby Sund fjord system.Poor weather and bad ice conditions hindered activities, and in particular prevented planned relief andtransport of supplies to hunters of the Nanok company.1932 Østgrønlandsk Fangstkompagni Nanok – Gefion expeditionJ.G. Jennov led an expedition in the GEFION with the objective of reoccupying Danmarkshavn andestablishing and extending Danish fox-hunting activities in the Dove Bugt region (75°–77°N). A radiostation was built at Hvalrosodden.1932 Scoresbysund-Komiteen – 2nd East Greenland expeditionEjnar Mikkelsen, chairman of the Scoresbysund Committee for more than 40 years, was leader of thisexpedition to the relatively poorly known coastal region south of Scoresby Sund. The aims were in partscientific, and in part to erect houses at suitable locations to enable communication between thesettlements of Ammassalik and Scoresbysund. The expedition included British and Danish scientistsand sailed from Copenhagen on June 22nd aboard SØKONGEN, reaching the Greenland coast at KapDalton on July 10th. Scientific work was begun here and extended progressively southwards, detailedwork being carried out in the Kangerlussuaq region (68°–68°30 N). The expedition left Ammassalik forCopenhagen on September 10th.1932 Skaun and Welde – “Dagsposten” expeditionSigurd Skaun and Harald Welde visited East Greenland with the support of the Norwegian newspaper“Dagsposten” and Adolf Hoel, to investigate supposed columns of smoke seen by A. Høygaard and M.Mehren in 1931 on the east side of Waltershausen Gletscher. They travelled to Greenland withPOLARBJØRN, and were landed at Kap Bull at the mouth of Moskusoksefjord. A three week journey indifficult terrain in western Hudson Land and Ole Rømer Land revealed no evidence of volcanic activityor hot springs. They returned home with POLARBJØRN. Further sightings of smoke in this region havebeen reported, but the most likely explanation is that the “smoke” consists of clouds of dust, depositedon the floor of an ice-dammed lake beside Waltershausen Gletscher and periodically disturbed by strongkatabatic winds.1932–33 7th Thule expedition, led by Knud RasmussenThe 7th Thule expedition, the last of Knud Rasmussen’s expeditions, involved major scientificinvestigations along the SE coast of Greenland from Kap Farvel in the south to Kangerlussuaq in thenorth. Emphasis was placed on surveying, and a sea-plane was loaned by the Danish Royal Navy to 16© A.K. Higgins
  • 17. undertake aerial photography. Geological, archaeological, botanical and zoological studies were alsoprominent, and in 1933 Knud Rasmussen was engaged in the production of a cinematographic record ofGreenlandic eskimo life. Almost all the work of the expedition was south of 69°N, but some of the aerial photographyextended into the almost unknown region of high mountains and glaciers between Kangerlussuaq andScoresby Sund, a region which figures prominently in official reports of the expedition as KnudRasmussens Land. Rasmussen had sailed along the Blosseville Kyst, the SE coast of Knud RasmussensLand, in August 1933 aboard KIVIOQ on the way to visit Scoresbysund, returning to Ammassalik by thesame route. Knud Rasmussens Land was the official name for this region from 1936 to 1953, but wasabandoned when the name was transferred at the suggestion of Eske Brun to cover most of NorthGreenland, explored by Knud Rasmussen during the 1st and 2nd Thule expeditions.1932–33 International Polar YearJ.-B. Charcot selected the site for a French scientific station adjacent to Scoresbysund in 1931. In 1932POURQUOI PAS? accompanied by the icebreaker POLLUX carried materials and personnel to set up thestation, which comprised a main building Ker Doumer and a smaller hut Ker Virginia. The station wasmanned until the summer of 1933. Elsewhere in East Greenland the Norwegian weather stations at Myggbukta and Jónsbu took part inthe project.1932–34 Sigurd Tolløfsen’s expeditionA six-man hunting expedition led by Sigurd Tolløfsen travelled up to East Greenland together with JohnGiæver’s expedition aboard ISBJØRN in 1932. Tolløfsen’s party used the Arktisk Næringsdrift terrainbetween Revet and Godthåb Gulf, and the so-called Sunnmøre terrain from Jackson Ø to Kuhn Ø. Theexpedition expanded the northern terrain with a new station, Sigurdsheim, and six new huts. One of thehunters, Arnljot Tolløfsen, was drowned between Loch Fyne and Kap Herschel, and the remaining fivewent home with the NSIU relief ship SÆLBARDEN in 1934.1932–34 Helge Ingstad’s expeditionThis six-man expedition was led by Helge Ingstad, a writer and lawyer who had been appointedsysselmann (= governor) of Eirik Raudes Land following Norway’s declaration of sovereignty over partof East Greenland in 1931. The expedition went up with POLARBJØRN and took over the territory on thesouth side of Kong Oscar Fjord. Several huts were built, and a number of sledge journeys made,including one in the spring of 1933 across Jameson Land to the interior of Nordvestfjord. After newsthat Norway had lost the court case in The Hague was received, Ingstad returned home in 1933 withPOLARBJØRN, while the remainder of the expedition returned to Norway with SÆLBARDEN in 1934.1932–34 John Giæver’s expeditionJohn Giæver’s six-man expedition travelled up with Tolløfsen’s expedition in ISBJØRN. Theyestablished Jónsbu radio station, which operated from 1932–34, and two other hunting stations north ofArdencaple Fjord (Ottostrand and Olestua). Eighteen hunting huts were also built between the southcoast of Ardencaple Fjord and Kap Niels, including two inland by large lakes, together representing aconsiderable expansion in the range of Norwegian hunting activities. The expedition returned homewith SÆLBARDEN in 1934.1933 Louise A. Boyd’s arctic expeditionLouise Boyd’s fourth arctic expedition was organised with the cooperation and assistance of theAmerican Geographical Society, and included five scientists: two surveyors, a physiographer, ageologist and a botanist. The botanist developed appendicitus and returned home without reachingGreenland. VESLEKARI, captained by Johan Olsen, was the expedition ship, and left Norway on June28th for Jan Mayen and Greenland. Hold with Hope was reached on July 13th after an easy passagethrough the ice. Nearly all the fjords from 72°30 –74°N were visited, and the expedition departed fromMackenzie Bugt on September 9th. Louise Boyd continued during this voyage her primary interest of making a photographic record of 17© A.K. Higgins
  • 18. arctic scenery. For the 1933 voyage VESLEKARI had been fitted with an echo sounder, and profiles weresuccessfully made in all the fjords, as well as on the Atlantic crossing. Knækdalen (Gregory Valley) wasdiscovered and explored for the first time, and a photogrammetric map was made of the valley, as wellas detailed maps of glaciers in Knækdalen and on Louise Boyd Land. In the course of geological studiesN.E. Odell ascended a number of mountains around Knækdalen and in other areas. Tide guages set up attwo localities gave useful information.1933 Lindbergh’s flight across GreenlandCharles Lindbergh and his wife crossed the Greenland Inland Ice from west to east on August 4th intheir Lockheed Sirius monoplane “Tingmissartoq” as part of a six month series of flights which tookthem around much of the North Atlantic Ocean. Lauge Koch provided them with weather reports, andthey landed at Ella Ø, subsequently visiting Eskimonæs on August 5th. On August 6th they flew southto Ammassalik, with instructions from Koch to pay special attention to the high mountains south ofScoresby Sund. They re-crossed the Inland Ice westwards to Nuuk (then known as Godthåb), thenrounded the south coast of Greenland back to Ammassalik. At Ammassalik they were entertained byKnud Rasmussen on August 13th, before departing the next day for Iceland. Lauge Koch subsequentlynamed a group of nunataks south of Scoresby Sund after Lindbergh.1933 Cambridge expedition to East GreenlandG.C.L. Bertram, David Lack and Brian B. Roberts travelled to East Greenland as guests of J.-B. Charcotaboard POURQUOI PAS?. Zoological and ornithological studies were made around the inner part ofHurry Inlet.1933 John K. Howard Expedition to East GreenlandJohn K. Howard visited East Greenland in August with NORDKAP II. A small geological partydisembarked on western Ymer Ø.1934 Count Leonardo Bonzi spedizione italianaA five-man Italian climbing expedition led by Leonardo Bonzi had intended to make an attempt on theWatkins Bjerge from the Blosseville Kyst. However, the expedition ran into difficult ice conditions intheir small Icelandic boat NJALL, and turned its attentions instead to the unexplored mountains behindVolquart Boon Kyst (70°N) on the south side of Scoresby Sund. Between August 22nd and 29th parties explored and climbed a number of mountains and glaciersover an east–west distance of 35 km. Thirteen names, nearly all with Italian connections, were bestowedon a variety of features. Ice conditions delayed departure, and the expedition did not leave the coastuntil September 7th.1934 Alfred Rosenkrantz expedition to Scoresby SundAlfred Rosenkrantz spent the summer in the Scoresby Sund region studying Jurassic stratigraphy,assisted by Greenlanders.1934 British trans–Greenland expeditionMartin Lindsay led a three-man expedition to investigate the mountainous region south of ScoresbySund in 1934, approaching the area after crossing the Inland Ice from West Greenland by dog sledge.From the area of the Gronau Nunatakker the expedition traversed SW around the head ofKangerlussuaq, and eventually reached Ammassalik. The expedition sailed back to Europe withJACINTH.1934–37 Suløya Grønlands expeditionThis four-man Norwegian fox-hunting expedition included two of the pioneers from the Hirdexpedition, Hermann Andresen and Peder Sulebak. The group travelled up with SÆLBARDEN, andhunted in two parties of two, on the south side of Kong Oscar Fjord (72°N) and on Wollaston Forland(74°26 N). Two men travelled home in 1936, and the others in 1937. 18© A.K. Higgins
  • 19. 1935 Anglo-Danish expedition to East GreenlandAugustine Courtauld and Lawrence R. Wager joined forces in 1935 for a summer expedition based atKangerlussuaq, with the primary aim of an ascent of the Watkins Bjerge. The 14-strong party included aDanish archaeological group (Eigil Knuth, Helge Larsen and Ebbe Munck) as well as four wives. Onthe way to Kangerlussuaq QUEST picked up two eskimo families who were to experiment with hunting. In August 1935 a six-man climbing party, which included Courtauld, Wager and Munck, embarkedon the successful ascent of Gunnbjørn Fjeld, the highest peak of the Watkins Bjerge, a 190 km roundtrip via Sorgenfri Gletscher and Christian IV Gletscher. QUEST left Kangerlussuaq on August 29th, leaving behind seven members who were to continuework as the 1935–36 British East Greenland expedition.1935–36 British East Greenland expedition, led by L.R. WagerThis was a continuation of the 1935 Anglo-Danish expedition to East Greenland and was made up of aparty of seven led by Lawrence R. Wager, supported by a group of 14 eskimos. The greater part of thework of the expedition was geological, and was carried out south of latitude 69°N. Two sledge journeyspenetrated north of 68°N, one in the spring of 1936 up Frederiksborg Gletscher to Gronau Nunatakkerand Seward Plateau, and the second in summer 1936 up Frederiksborg Gletscher, west of Prinsen afWales Bjerge, and south around the head of Kangerlussuaq. The party returned home in late Augustaboard SELEIS.1936 Alfred Rosenkrantz expedition to Scoresby SundAlfred Rosenkrantz again spent a summer in East Greenland studying Jurassic stratigraphy, assisted byGreenlanders from Scoresbysund, and with financial support from the Carlsberg Foundation.1936–37 QUEST expedition – Gaston MicardCount Gaston Micard hired the QUEST, captained by Ludolf Schelderup, for a tour to East Greenland,overwintering at the mouth of Loch Fyne (74°N). He made use of Norwegian hunting huts in LochFyne, and also built three new huts, later taken over by Arktisk Næringsdrift. Two of the crew, WillieKnutsen and Karl Nicoloisen wintered at Kap Stosch. The crew of QUEST caught 162 fox. At the end ofJuly 1937 QUEST returned to Europe, making short stops at Scoresbysund and Ammassalik on the way.1936–38 Bird and Bird ornithological expeditionEdward and Charles Bird spent respectively one and two years at Myggbukta and Peters Bugt makingornithological studies. Transport and other facilities were provided by NSIU and Arktisk Næringsdrift.1936–38 Two-year expedition, led by Lauge KochThis expedition, which had almost entirely geological objectives, was to last for three summers and twowinters. Each summer expedition was ship-based, with up to seven motor boats providing localtransport, and in 1938 a sea-plane was used for aerial reconnaissance. Ponies were used extensively fortransport in Jameson Land. Large wintering parties extended the field season by carrying out springgeological explorations by dog sledge. The expedition was financed in part by private contributions, thebalance and loan of the ship being provided by the Danish state. 1936 – GUSTAV HOLM carried 47 men to East Greenland, reaching Scoresbysund on July 23rd. Itwas an exceptionally favourable ice year, no pack ice being encountered either on the voyage out or thevoyage home. Five geological teams were at work mainly between latitudes 71°–74°N, including partsof Gauss Halvø, Kap Stosch, Ella Ø, Traill Ø and Nathorst Fjord. Fourteen men wintered at twostations. 1937 – Ice conditions proved extremely difficult in 1937. One of the main objectives was theerection of a new wintering station, planned to be placed in Nathorst Fjord, but GUSTAV HOLM couldnot reach the area because of the pack ice, and the new station Gurreholm was built instead in westernJameson Land near the mouth of Schuchert Flod. Ice prevented the relief of the northern winteringstations, with the result that the scientists who had intended to return home were forced to overwinterfor a further year. Eight geological, one zoological and one botanical team were at work during thesummer in parts of Hold with Hope, the Giesecke Bjerge and Jameson Land. Twenty-three men 19© A.K. Higgins
  • 20. overwintered at four stations. 1938 – GODTHAAB was expedition ship, and carried one additional geological party to Greenland tojoin those already in the field. Ice conditions again proved difficult, although not as bad as 1937. Workwas carried out in Hudson Land, the Giesecke Bjerge, Jameson Land and Scoresby Land (71°–74°N).Only two members overwintered, returning home in 1939.1937 Louise A. Boyd’s Arctic expeditionLouise Boyd once again chartered VESLEKARI, captained by Johan Olsen, for a voyage to EastGreenland and Spitzbergen. Scientific staff included two geologists, a botanist, a surveyor and ahydrographer. The expedition left Tromsø on June 30th, visited Jan Mayen, then made a difficultpassage of the pack ice belt arriving at the East Greenland coast on July 25th. Working first in theTyrolerdal area, VESLEKARI went to the assistance of POLARBJØRN which had run aground, then sailedsouth and west to the inner part of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, where work was carried out at the head ofKjerulf Fjord. Rhedin Fjord, Alpefjord and Narhvalsund were also visited. Difficulties with the pack icecaused delays and diversions, but VESLEKARI came free on August 25th and set course for Spitzbergen. Scientific results in East Greenland included a general hydrographic chart of the region 72°–74°N, aswell as detailed hydrographic surveys of Tyrolerfjord, Kjerulf Fjord and Narhvalsund. Photogrammetictopographic maps were produced of parts of Tyrolerdal and Narhvalgletscher, as well as a plane-tablesurvey of Agassiz Dal. Regional botanical studies were made, while geological work concentrated onaspects of glacial and Quaternary geology.1937–38 Søren Richter’s expeditionSøren Richter, an archaeologist who had twice overwintered with Arktisk Næringsdrift expeditions, leda three-man hunting group using the terrain south of Kong Oscar Fjord. The expedition travelled up andback with POLARBJØRN.1937–39 Hermann Andresen’s expeditionHermann Andresen and Lars Vemøy travelled up in 1937 with POLARBJØRN to work the WollastonForland terrain. Lars Vemøy returned to Norway in 1938, while Andresen continued alone until 1939.1937–40 Sigurd Tolløfsen’s expeditionIn 1937 a six-man expedition led by Sigurd Tolløfsen travelled up on POLARBJØRN, but due to bad iceconditions could not reach their hunting terrain and returned home. Four men went up in 1938, andoccupied the terrain between Kuhn Ø and Dove Bugt. Three returned home in 1938, with EivindTolløfsen continuing alone from a base at Jónsbu.1938 Louise A. Boyd’s Arctic expeditionThe 1938 expedition proved to be Louise Boyd’s last major expedition to East Greenland. VESLEKARI,captained by Johan Olsen, was expedition ship, and scientists included a hydrographer, a surveyor and ageologist. Leaving Norway on June 13th, VESLEKARI visited Jan Mayen on the way to the coast of EastGreenland which was reached at Bass Rock on July 25th. Investigations were made around Clavering Øand in Granta Fjord until July 31st, when VESLEKARI headed northwards along the coast. On August2nd the NE end of Île de France (77°48 N) was reached just south of Kap Montpensier, at the time thefarthest north landing made by a ship on the east coast of Greenland (BELGICA had reached 78°10 N inthe pack ice in 1905, but their northernmost landing was in southern Île de France). Retreatingsouthwards, parts of Dove Bugt were explored, and the inner parts of Bessel Fjord and ArdencapleFjord visited. On August 27th VESLEKARI left the coast en route for Spitzbergen. The main scientific results included a general hydrographic chart of the region 74°–77°N, withdetailed profiles in Pustervig and off Soraner Gletscher. Tidal observations were made atDanmarkshavn. Other work included geological studies, botanical work and a survey of theOrienteringsøer.1938 Sea-plane expedition to Peary Land, by Lauge KochSupposed sightings of land between Kronprins Christian Land and Spitzbergen had been made by J.P. 20© A.K. Higgins
  • 21. Koch during the 1906–08 Danmark expedition, by Lauge Koch in 1933 and Peter Freuchen in 1935.Another alleged sighting of what had become known as Fata Morgana Land by Ivan D. Papanin’s icedrift expedition in 1937 led directly to Lauge Koch’s 1938 seaplane expedition. Koch flew to Kings Bay in Spitzbergen with the Dornier-Wal to be used on the two Greenlandflights, while GUSTAV HOLM sailed to Kings Bay with a reserve Heinkel seaplane. The first flight onMay 10th reached the coast of Kronprins Christian Land, while the second on May 15th–16th extendedacross Peary Land. Both flights crossed the supposed position of the mysterious land sightings, but notrace of land was seen.1938–39 Ole Klokseth’s expeditionThis two-man Norwegian hunting expedition, together with a Swedish assistant, were put on land by thesealer GRANDE. A station was built on the north side of Geographical Society Ø at Kap Mackenzie andhuts on the north side of Ymer Ø and east of Walterhausen Gletscher.1938–39 Den Norsk-Franske PolarekspedisjonWilly Knutsen and Count Gaston Micard embarked on a combined hunting and scientific expedition in1938. Micard purchased RINGSEL, which was renamed EN AVANT and captained for the voyage by KarlNicolaisen. A main station, Micardbu, and three huts were built on the east coast of Germania Land, andtwo huts on islands south of Danmarkshavn. Thirteen men overwintered, the EN AVANT in winterharbour in northern Lille Koldewey. Weather reports were sent to Oslo three times a day. During thewinter Gaston Micard became ill, and was rescued by a Stinson seaplane operating from the shipVESLEKARI.1938–39 Den Danske Hundeslæde-EkspeditionIn the winter of 1938–39 Elmar Drastrup and Finn Kristoffersen made a journey by dog-sledge alongthe coast of East Greenland from Sandodden in Young Inlet to Ingolf Fjord, and explored a new route tothe interior of Kronprins Christian Land. The purpose of the journey was to find a better route to PearyLand, and if possible to traverse across to North-West Greenland, although the latter objective wasfrustrated by open water and heavier than usual snow conditions, which forced a retreat back along theEast Greenland coast. A journey of 2350 km was completed in 105 travelling days. Improvements weremade to the map on the route of the expedition, especially in the interior of Ingolf Fjord and the valleysystem of Vandredalen.1938–39 Mørkefjord expedition, led by Eigil Knuth and Ebbe MunckAn alleged sighting of the mythical Fata Morgana Land between Spitzbergen and Kronprins ChristianLand by Ivan D. Papanin in 1937 was a prime factor in the promotion of this expedition, although itsmain aims came to be the exploration of the little known land region between latitudes 76°–82°N, onlytraversed previously by the 1906–08 Danmark and 1909–12 Alabama expeditions. The somewhatcumbersome full name of the expedition was “Den Dansk Nordøstgrønlands Ekspedition, udsendt af AlfTrolle, Ebbe Munck og Eigil Knuth til Minde om Danmark-Ekspedition”; the participants sometimesused an abbreviated form “MUNEK-Ekspedition”, but it is generally known as the Mørkefjordexpedition after the main base at Mørkefjord. Alf Trolle had made very substantial donations, whileother financial support came from the Carlsberg and Tuborg Foundations. Ebbe Munck and Eigil Knuthwere leaders of the expedition, Knuth being in charge of the wintering party of six scientists and threeGreenlanders. The ship GAMMA was purchased, and captained by Peder Marcus Pedersen departed fromCopenhagen on June 19th 1938 with a cargo including 70 dogs and a De Havilland Tiger Moth fittedwith floats. The coast of North-East Greenland was reached near Store Koldewey, and the expeditionand its equipment were unloaded west of Hvalrosodden at the mouth of Mørkefjord. The winteringhouse, Mørkefjord Station, was built here, while Alwin Pedersen, loosely attached to the expedition,had his own small house at Hvalrosodden. Between October 1938 and March 1939 seven sledge journeys were made northwards to lay outdepots for the spring sledge journeys, of which there were three lasting from April to June 1939. EigilNielsen reached the north point of Kronprins Christian Land, exploring on the way the interior of Ingolf 21© A.K. Higgins
  • 22. Fjord. Eigil Knuth reached as far as Antarctic Bugt, but also explored part of Skærfjorden and theNorske Øer. Svend Sølver explored Jøkelbugten, and penetrated westwards into the nunatak regionclimbing Milepælen on Moltke Nunatak. Meanwhile, further south, Alwin Pedersen and Paul Geltingmade numerous shorter journeys around Dove Bugt, and to Sælsø and Annekssøen. The main party returned home with GAMMA in 1939, but Mørkefjord Station continued to beoperated as a weather station until 1942, although with increasing difficulties due to the war in Europe.Two men made a 1000 km journey from Mørkefjord to Scoresbysund in May–July 1940. One of the lasttelegraphists, Ib Poulsen, was to become leader of Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje.1939–40 Swedish-Norwegian expedition to East GreenlandThis five-man expedition to Clavering Ø included Kaare Rodahl, who investigated vitamins in Arcticdiet, and Hans W:son Ahlmann, who carried out glaciological studies. Three assistants, two of themNorwegian hunters, accompanied the expedition. Ahlmann and Rodahl travelled up with POLARBJØRNarriving in July 1939; Ahlmann returned with the ship in August. Rodahl remained in East Greenlanduntil August 1940, returning with VESLEKARI to Iceland, and later to the Orkney Islands. The hunting station at Revet was used as a base and laboratory, while a small hut was built inLerbugt in northern Clavering Ø. Glaciological studies were carried out mainly on Frejagletscher, andascents were made of Højnålen and Moltke Bjerg. Rodahl’s biological studies led, amongst other things,to the discovery that poisoning due to eating bear liver arises from vitamin A enrichment.1939–40 Søren Richter’s expeditionThis three-man Norwegian hunting expedition worked the terrain on the south side of Kong OscarFjord. A new main station, Havna, was built near Noret and made the best catch of all the Norwegianstations that winter, a total of 82 foxes, 34 of them alive. After the outbreak of war in Europe the hunterstravelled to Iceland in the summer of 1940.1940–19601940–44 German meteorological expeditionsWhen the Danish and Norwegian weather stations in East Greenland ceased broadcasting at theoutbreak of war, Germany attempted to establish its own meteorological stations in order to follow thedevelopment of weather conditions in the North Atlantic. Five main expeditions are recorded, of whichtwo operated radio stations for some time before being put out of action.1940 VESLEKARI and FURENAK expeditionsThe first attempts by the German occupying powers in Norway to maintain weather reports from EastGreenland involved the sending of Nazi sympathisers up with hunting personnel. VESLEKARI was sentup with Danish and Norwegian hunters to relieve the radio station at Myggbukta, but was arrested bythe patrol boat FRIDTJOF NANSEN. FURENAK landed an expedition with radio, weapons and Norwegianuniforms on the south side of Davy Sund in Autumn 1940, but was discovered by FRIDTJOF NANSEN,and the installations destroyed.1941 BUSKØ expeditionThe Norwegian sealer BUSKØ landed a small party of German meteorologists in Peters Bugt in thesummer of 1941. The sledge patrol observed BUSKØ and alerted the U.S. patrol boat NORTHLAND whicharrested the landing party.1941–45 Nordøstgrønlands SlædepatruljeThe first sledge patrol was formed in the summer of 1941 on the initiative of Eske Brun from volunteersamong the 27 Danes and Norwegians stranded in Greenland at the outbreak of war. These were mainlyhunters and staff at the weather stations. The patrol initially comprised six Danes, three Norwegians andsix Greenlander dog drivers, whose responsibility was to patrol the coast from 70°–77°N and to preventand report German activity. Their patrols led to the discovery of the German meteorological expeditionat Hansa Bugt in March 1943, as a consequence of which Eli Knudsen was shot at Sandodden and the 22© A.K. Higgins
  • 23. sledge patrol base at Eskimonæs burnt down. A second German expedition at Kap Sussi, Shannon, wasattacked by the sledge patrol in April 1944. In 1943 a new patrol base was established at Dødemandsbugten, replaced in 1944 by a larger stationerected with USA assistance at Sandodden. Emergency huts were built on Maria Ø and in Blæsedalen.The sledge patrol was disbanded in 1945, but revived in 1951, the forerunner of the present SiriusSledge Patrol.1941–45 USA – Northeast Greenland Task UnitUnited States activities in the coastal waters of East Greenland during the war years began with theagreement negotiated in 1941 by Eske Brun and the Danish ambassador in Washington, HenrikKaufmann, by which the USA agreed to protect Greenland against foreign invasion. From 1941 threecoastguard patrol boats (NORTHLAND, NORTH STAR and BEAR) were on duty in East Greenland underthe command of Edward H. Smith (‘Iceberg Smith’), and to some extent supported and suppliedNordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje. In 1944 the patrol boats were partly replaced by the icebreakersEASTWIND and SOUTHWIND. In 1944 the NORTHLAND sank the KEHDINGEN, and the two icebreakerscaptured EXTERNSTEINE; both ships had been carrying German meteorological expeditions.1942–43 Operation Holzauge – SACHSEN expeditionA 19-man German meteorological expedition transported aboard the SACHSEN landed in Hansa Bugt onthe east coast of Sabine Ø in August 1942, and operated undetected until March 1943 when members ofthe sledge patrol met a group of German soldiers. In subsequent encounters, Eli Knudsen was killed atSandodden, Eskimonæs station was burnt down, and the leader of the German party, Lieutenant HermanRitter, was captured and taken to Scoresbysund. The Hansa Bugt weather station was bombed by fourB-24 aircraft on 25th May 1943, causing some damage, and leading to evacuation of the personnel byflying-boat between June 7th and 17th. The ship SACHSEN was burnt, and other installations destroyed.One member of the German expedition left behind (Rudolf Sensse) was taken prisoner by NORTHLANDin July.1943–44 Operation BassgeigerA German meteorological expedition of 27 men aboard their ship COBURG was frozen in off Kap Sussion the outer coast of Shannon in October 1943. COBURG was eventually crushed by the ice andabandoned. The expedition established an underground base camp in a snow fan at Kap Sussi, which on22nd April 1944 was attacked by members of Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje. The only casualty wasGerhard Zacher, a German lieutenant, who was buried at Kap Sussi. The expedition was evacuated byair on June 3rd 1944.1944 Operation EdelweissAn attempt was made by the KEHDINGEN to land a German meteorological expedition in 1944, but itwas intercepted by the U.S. patrol boat NORTHLAND near the south point of Store Koldewey, and sunk.1944 Goldschmied expedition – Operation Edelweiss IIThis 12-man German meteorological expedition reached land on the east side of Lille Koldewey onOctober 1st 1944. The landing party was captured on October 4th by troops from the U.S. icebreakerEASTWIND. The expedition ship EXTERNSTEINE was trapped in the ice and subsequently captured byEASTWIND and SOUTHWIND – it was unofficially renamed EASTBREEZE, and later became USS CALLO.1945–53 Østgrønlandsk Fangstkompagni Nanok A/SThe Danish hunting company Nanok resumed hunting activities in 1945. Their huts were then in a poorstate of repair after the ravages and neglect of the war years, although the Danish government did paycompensation for the use of the huts and provisions during the war years, and continued to pay anannual subsidy until 1951. Between 1945 and 1951 a total of 23 huts were built, as well as new stationsat the head of Loch Fyne and at Germaniahavn. The suspension of subsidies was related to theestablishment of Slædepatrulje Sirius in 1950 which was henceforth to be the official Danish presencein East Greenland. By the summer of 1952 only one Danish hunter remained in East Greenland, and 23© A.K. Higgins
  • 24. hunting effectively ceased in 1953. J.G. Jennov had visited East Greenland virtually every summer sincethe war, and his last visit in 1954 was to rescue Mønstedhus from falling into the sea; it was moved 20m to safety.1946–59 Arktisk Næringsdrift A/SArktisk Næringsdrift resumed hunting operations in 1946, with the aid of a Norwegian state subsidytowards hire of the annual relief ship, and an interest-free loan. Many hunting huts and stations were inpoor condition, partly due to neglect but also in some cases deliberate destruction during the war years.Myggbukta weather station was repaired and weather reports resumed in August 1946. In 1948 areplacement for the destroyed Jónsbu radio station was built. However, the northern stations ofOttostrand and Ny Jónsbu were given up in 1953, due to poor hunting and difficulties of access. In 1959the Norwegian state suspended its subsidy to the weather station at Myggbukta, and this, together withfalling skin prices and the increasing cost of ship hire led to a cessation of Norwegian hunting. POLARBJØRN was the relief ship from 1946–48, QUEST in 1949, and the new POLARBJØRN from1950–57. In 1957 POLARBJØRN was crushed in the ice and lost, the crew and passengers being rescuedby the Danish naval cutter TEISTEN and flown home from Mestersvig. In addition to the hunters, theships occasionally transported scientific and climbing expeditions to East Greenland, and in the lateryears a few tourists. Fox hunting was very poor in 1948–49 and 1955–56, and catastrophic in 1956–57 when hunters atMyggbukta, Hoelsbo and Revet had together a catch of only 36 fox. Salmon fishing was undertaken insome years, sometimes with success, sometimes with disastrous results. The total catch of ArktiskNæringsdrift from 1946–59 was recorded as more than 5000 fox and 40 bears. The Danish-Norwegian agreement on East Greenland was terminated in 1967, and in 1969 theDanish state took over the 150 Norwegian hunting huts and stations paying kr. 50,000 in compensation.1946–59 Hermann Andresen’s expeditionsHermann Andresen, a Norwegian hunter who had last overwintered in 1938–39, organised a series ofexpeditions to the so-called Sunnmøring terrain from 1946 onwards. Kap Herschell was the main stationin the north, and in the south the stations at Antarctic Havn, Havna and Kap Peterséns were used.Andresen received a state subsidy in 1946 to repair the old huts and build new, and received furtherannual subsidies subsequently. Three or four hunters were active each year, altogether 32 men with atotal of 42 winters between them. Four hunters in the southern terrain broke their contracts in poorhunting seasons, taking work at the lead mine near Mestersvig. From 1948 Andresen also organisedsummer salmon fishing, sending up to five men up with the relief ships to fish, mainly in the rivers atBrogetdal, Zachenberg, Dusén Fjord and Loch Fyne. Together with Arktisk Næringsdrift, 358 barrels ofsalmon were taken between 1937 and 1959. Andresen’s expeditions were dependent on ArktiskNæringsdrift for transport to and from Greenland, and were also obliged to suspend hunting in 1959.1947 United States Air Force photogrammetric flightsPhotogrammetric flights were made in 1947 over East Greenland, as well as the greater part of theice-free areas of other parts of Greenland, by the United States Air Force. The oblique and vertical aerialphotographs obtained were used for the production of the 1:250,000 map sheets of the Army MapService (AMS), the East Greenland sheets being compiled in 1952.1947–50 Dansk Pearyland expeditionThe main area of activity of this expedition, one of the series of expeditions to Peary Land led by EigilKnuth, lies in North Greenland. However, a southern base of the expedition was established atZachenberg Bugt in Young Sund, and each year equipment and expedition members were brought up tothe base by GODTHAAB. Catalina seaplanes were used to ferry stores and personnel to Peary Land. Opportunity was taken by some expedition members to carry out archaeological and other workaround the southern base. In addition other expeditions took advantage of the transport possibilities ofGODTHAAB to reach East Greenland. The latter included the 1948 Leeds University Greenlandexpedition, the 1949 W.R.B. Battle expedition and the 1951 British North Greenland (reconnaissance)Expedition. 24© A.K. Higgins
  • 25. 1947–58 De danske Østgrønlands-ekspeditioner – led by Lauge KochLauge Koch’s expeditions to East Greenland resumed in 1947, with government support and on a moreregular basis than pre-war, and with an almost entirely geological bias. Their format was at first similarto the last pre-war expeditions, based on ships with groups of scientists over-wintering. However,Catalina flying boats soon replaced ships for transport of personnel, and after 1952 when the airport wasconstructed at Mestersvig, DC-4 aircraft were used. From 1948 the expedition had its own Norsemanaircraft. Over-wintering was given up in 1953. Koch records that 691 persons took part in his post-warexpeditions, a slightly misleading figure as in addition to scientists, the numbers include the crews of theboats, and the mining engineers and drilling teams involved in prospecting around Mestersvig. Ingeneral six to eleven geological teams were active each year. Compilation of geological maps wasbegun in 1955 by John Haller, and to complete these maps and fill out gaps, more than 32,000 km ofreconnaissance and photographic flying was carried out by Norseman in 1955, 1956 and 1958. Haller’scompilation work continued after the expeditions stopped in 1958, and the geological maps (printed in1964) were published in 1971, and a major geological account of the East Greenland Caledonides waspublished the same year. A brief summary of each year’s activities is given below. 1947 – The expedition was based on GUSTAV HOLM, and comprised 30 members including fourgeological parties; it was active between latitudes 72°–74°N. 1948 – GUSTAV HOLM and one Norseman seaplane provided transport for 47 members includingeight geological parties. The area of activity was again 72°–74°N, and lead and zinc deposits were foundnear Mestersvig. 1949 – The expedition comprised 97 members including 7 geological parties, and was based onGUSTAV HOLM with two seaplanes for transport and reconnaissance. Icelandic ponies were used for thelast time, and it was also the last occasion on which a ship was used as a summer base. Special attentionwas given to the lead mineralisation near Mestersvig. 1950 – Catalinas and Norseman aircraft were used to transport the 120 members of the expedition,which included nine geological parties and 86 prospecting and drilling personnel. The ships GUSTAVHOLM, VESLEKARI and POLARSTJERNE were used to transport equipment and materials for theprospecting group. Erdhardt Fränkl made one of the earliest explorations of the Stauning Alper, andGerold Styger made ascents of mountains in the Werner Bjerge. 1951 – Catalinas and Norseman aircraft were used to transport the group of 104 to East Greenland,the numbers including 58 prospecting and drilling personnel. Eight geological parties were activebetween latitudes 70°–74°N. One party, including Eduard Wenk and John Haller, climbed PetermannBjerg and other nearby peaks during geological mapping, and a second party led by Hans R. Katz madea journey to the nunatak region at 74°N in weasels of Paul-Emile Victor’s expedition, supported by anairdrop at Cecilia Nunatak. Fränkl continued his explorations in the northern Stauning Alper, makingfirst ascents of Frihedstinde and Elisabethsminde. 1952 – The expedition numbered 49, including eight geological parties, and was transported byCatalina and Norseman aircraft. Two parties worked out from a base at Centrumsø in KronprinsChristian Land (80°10 N). A two-man group overwintered at Ella Ø from 1952–53, after whichwintering was given up. West of the bay known as Mesters Vig an airfield was constructed(subsequently known in the one-word form Mestersvig), and the newly formed mining company,Nordisk Mineselskab, began exploitation of the lead deposits. 1953 – Catalina and Norseman aircraft transported 41 expedition members, including sevengeological parties, to Mestersvig. Two parties again worked out of Centrumsø, one of them traversingthe North Greenland fold belt to reach Kap Morris Jesup (the northernmost cape of Greenland). Anotherparty made a long journey to the nunataks west of Goodenough Land, including an ascent of ShackletonBjerg, and farther south molybdenum was discovered at Malmbjerg. 1954 – Catalina and Norseman aircraft transported 39 personnel to East Greenland, including ninegeological parties. One party, including John Haller, Wolfgang Diehl and Fritz Schwarzenbach workedin the Stauning Alper and made several major ascents, including Dansketinden and Norsketinden. 1955 – Catalina and Norseman aircraft transported 34 members to East Greenland. There were sevengeological parties working over a wide area between latitudes 70°–78°N. Two Bell helicopters wereused in East Greenland for the first time, in co-operation with Nordisk Mineselskab. Two parties 25© A.K. Higgins
  • 26. supported by Norseman worked out of a base at Langsø (75°49 N). Extensive reconnaissance andphotographic flights were made with Norseman aircraft out of satellite bases at Daneborg, Langsø,Danmarkshavn and Britannia Sø. 1956 – Catalina, Norseman and DC-4 aircraft were used to transport the 33 personnel. Theseincluded eight geological parties, two of which worked between latitudes 70°–72°N. Two Sikorskyhelicopters were used in co-operation with Nordisk Mineselskab, and wide-ranging aerialreconnaissance and photography flights were carried out with Norseman between Bessel Fjord and theStauning Alper. 1957 – Norseman, Catalina and DC-4 aircraft transported 47 expedition members to East Greenland.Five of the 11 geological parties worked between latitudes 70°–72°N. 1958 – Catalina, Norseman and DC-4 aircraft transported 55 members of Lauge Koch’s lastexpedition to East Greenland. Eight of the 11 geological parties worked south of 72°N. Some extendedreconnaissance and photographic flights were made. Expeditions had been planned to complete the mapping of the Scoresby Sund region (70°–72°N)from a base at Rypefjord, but financing of Lauge Koch’s expeditions was unexpectedly brought to anend after the 1958 season.1948 + Danmarkshavn ICAO weather stationThe International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) weather station Danmarkshavn (spelt as oneword) was established in 1948 at Danmark Havn. The ship G.C. AMDRUP had transported 400 tons ofmaterials and 17 carpenters and radio personnel to the site during the summer, and VESLEKARI broughtin more equipment in August the same year. The first station leader was Ib Poulsen. Operations werebegun in the autumn of 1948, and the station was to have been completed in 1949, but G.C. AMDRUPwas diverted due to difficult ice conditions to Nordfjord, and exchange of personnel was carried out byuse of Norseman and Catalina aircraft. The weather station is normally supplied in alternate years byship from Denmark, although it is not unusual for ice to prevent access.1948 Leeds University Greenland ExpeditionA four-man expedition led by W.R.B. Battle travelled up to East Greenland with the Dansk Pearylandexpedition aboard GODTHAAB, arriving at Zackenberg Bugt at the end of July. A base camp wasestablished in Tyrolerdal west of the head of Tyrolerfjord, where the expedition divided into twoparties. One undertook glaciological studies on Pasterz and nearby glaciers, while the second partymade a general geological reconnaissance reaching as far north as Grandjean Fjord.1949 W.R.B. Battle ExpeditionOriginally planned as a four-man Cambridge University expedition, Battle travelled up alone due to lackof space aboard GODTHAAB, the expedition ship of the Dansk Pearyland expedition. Glaciological workwas carried out on several of the glaciers on Clavering Ø.1949–54 Geodætisk Institut aerial photography and surveyingIn 1949 low-level vertical aerial photography was carried out in the region around Mestersvig, with themain purpose of constructing detailed topographic maps in connection with the lead-zinc prospecting. Oblique aerial photography was also carried out over much of the region between latitudes 69°–81°Nin the years 1950 and 1952. In 1951 a Geodætisk Institut surveying party based on OLE RØMER visited the Scoresby Sund region.This project continued in 1953 and 1954 with larger parties based on TYCHO BRAHE and with helicoptersupport. In 1953 a helicopter technician was killed in an accident, a tragic incident commemorated bythe name C. Hofmann Halvø.1950 + Slædepatruljen SiriusThe sledge patrol which had operated in East Greenland during the war years, was re-established inAugust 1950. This followed the realisation by NATO of the strategic significance of North-EastGreenland in the event of war, and some concern as to whether Danmark was doing enough to upholdits rights of sovereignty over the unoccupied regions of North and East Greenland. The patrol was 26© A.K. Higgins
  • 27. known at first as “Operation Resolut”, and had a base at Ella Ø. In l951 it changed its name to“Slædepatruljen Resolut”, and moved to new headquarters at Daneborg. A last name change to“Slædepatruljen Sirius” (The Sirius Sledge Patrol), in common parlance “Sirius”, was made in 1953, thename being derived after the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius is a Danish military police force which patrols the uninhabited regions of North and EastGreenland, roughly corresponding to the boundaries of Nordøstgrønlands Nationalpark. During thewinter and spring dog-sledge teams cover a total of 20,000 km on patrol. Occasional use is made of theold Danish and Norwegian hunting huts, but prefabricated bear-proof huts are increasingly used. Duringthe short summers, depots are laid out by aircraft and boat, and damaged huts repaired. Widespreaddamage to the old hunting huts by bears in search of food, means that few huts now survive in theiroriginal form. Small military groups maintain the airfield at Station Nord.1950–51 Plankton studies in Scoresby SundP.S.B. Digby and his wife, who had travelled to Scoresbysund with JOPETER in August 1950, maderegular plankton hauls in the waters of Scoresby Sund between August 1950 and August 1951 from asmall boat and through holes in the ice. Digby returned home with JOPETER in August 1951, his wifehaving flown home in July with their newly born baby.1950–51 Expéditions Polaires Françaises, Missions Paul-Émile VictorPaul-Émile Victor embarked in 1948 on a long series of expeditions to investigate the Inland Ice ofGreenland, including meteorological, geophysical and glaciological observations. Seismic and gravitysurveys were made over an extensive region between latitudes 63° and 74°N. In 1950 motorised weaseltransports reached Cecilia Nunatak in East Greenland, and some of the expedition members made theirway to Ella Ø and returned to Europe with Lauge Koch’s expedition. In the summer of 1951 a group ofLauge Koch’s geologists, led by Hans R. Katz, were transported by Victor’s weasels from CeciliaNunatak to the nunatak region near Hobbs Land at 74°N. Katz and his party undertook a strenuous tourby ski and on foot eastwards to the coast of Nordfjord.1951 Norwegian climbing expeditionA party of three Norwegians, A. R. Heen, K. Barstad and Ø. Roed, climbed three peaks in the northernStauning Alper from a base at Kap Peterséns near Mestervig,. These were the first ascents of Tårnfjeldand Vardefjeld, and the second ascent of Elisabethsminde.1951 British North Greenland Expedition – reconnaissanceAs a guest of the Dansk Pearyland expedition in 1950, C.J.W. Simpson had observed from a distancethe largely unexplored nunataks of Dronning Louise Land, and considered the region as a suitable goalfor a major British Joint Services expedition. A reconnaissance expedition in 1951 to check itspossibilities was led by Simpson. In July a depot was air-dropped on Dronning Louise Land and a four-man group was landed by Sunderland aircraft on Sælsø. Accompanied by a hunter from Hvalrosodden(Orla Jensen), a journey was made across Storstrømmen to Dronning Louise Land where a site for abase was found on the shores of Britannia Sø. After limited exploration, the party recrossedStorstrømmen and was picked up from Sælsø at the end of August.1952–54 British North Greenland ExpeditionThis major expedition to Dronning Louise Land led by C.J.W. Simpson was a co-operative ventureinvolving all three branches of the British armed forces, the Shell Petroleum Company and civilianscientists. The expedition in the field numbered 30, eight of whom returned home in the summer of1953, while an additional five members took part only in the second year. The objects of the expeditionincluded a comprehensive scientific programme, as well as providing members of the armed forces witharctic experience. Glaciological, meteorological, physiological and geophysical studies were carried out.The meteorological work included establishment of a station, “Northice”, in the centre of the Inland Icewest of Dronning Louise Land, while the geophysical work involved a traverse from Dronning LouiseLand across the Inland Ice to Thule in North-West Greenland. The British armed forces provided airtransport, equipment and many of the expedition members, while financial backing came chiefly from 27© A.K. Higgins
  • 28. the Shell Petroleum Company and Sir Winston Churchill. In July 1952 the Norwegian sealer TOTTAN sailed equipment to the southern base at ZackenbergBugt in Young Sund, on its first journey sailing via Ivigtut in West Greenland to pick up dogs. In earlyAugust most of the expedition members and their equipment were air-lifted to Britannia Sø bySunderland aircraft, and a main base was established on the north shore of the lake. A small party witheight weasel tractors, too bulky to be carried by air, were landed at Kap Rink by TOTTAN in late August.While waiting for the ice to freeze, several peaks were climbed in the nearby Barth Bjerge. Withassistance from the Danish personnel at Danmarkshavn and members of Sirius, the group with theirweasels made the journey to Danmarkshavn in the autumn. Meanwhile “Northice” had been establishedwith the aid of airdrops from Thule, in the course of which a Hastings aircraft crash-landed. While surveying in April 1953, the Danish member of the expedition, H.A. Jensen, was killed in afall near Kap Niels. The weasels made a difficult journey to Britannia Sø via Sælsø and Storstrømmen,and in May began their journeys on the Inland Ice. New supplies were brought into Young Sund in earlyAugust by POLAR SIRKEL, and air-lifted to Britannia Sø together with the five new expedition membersreplacing those leaving. Surveying and geological exploration was carried out on numerous journeysthroughout Dronning Louise Land in 1953 and the first half of 1954. In August 1954 the entireexpedition was evacuated from Britannia Sø, apart from members of the gravity team who after theircrossing of the Inland Ice returned home from Thule.1952–84 Nordisk MineselskabFollowing discovery of lead and zinc mineralisations in the Mestersvig region (72°13 N) by geologistsof Lauge Koch’s expeditions in 1948, the mining and prospecting company Nordisk Mineselskab wasestablished in 1952. It was originally 27.5% owned by the Danish state, the balance being held byDanish, Swedish and Canadian interests. An exclusive concession covering the region 70°–74°30 N wasgranted in 1952 for a period of fifty years. Detailed studies of the lead-zinc deposits were commenced in 1952, and in the following years amining town was built in Blydal, a road built between the town and the harbour (Nyhavn), andunderground workings opened up. Production was commenced in 1956 and the mine was worked out by1962. Approximately 545 thousand tons of concentrate (9.3% Pb and 9.9% Zn) was shipped out, withexpenses roughly balancing earnings. The airport known as Mestersvig, which was opened in 1961 toserve the mine, continued to operate until October 1985 – when it was replaced for most purposes by anew airport built at Constable Pynt. In 1958 diamond drilling was commenced at a new prospect known as Malmbjerg, where LaugeKoch’s geologists had reported molybdenum mineralisation in 1954. Further drilling was carried out in1959 and 1960, after which the company Arktisk Mineselskab was formed to continue investigations. Aconcession to exploit molybdenum and related minerals was granted in 1961, originally for a period offifty years, but following extended negotiations was relinguished in 1984 without mining. From 1968–72 extensive regional prospecting was carried out throughout the Nordisk Mineselskabconcession area (70°–74°0 N), in many years with helicopter support. Preliminary oil explorationstudies were carried out in 1971–72 in cooperation with Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), but weresuspended as they were appeared to be in breach of the terms of the original concession. Activities were continued in 1974–76 and 1979–84, in 1979–82 with support from the EEC(European Economic Community), which led to finds of widespread scheelite. Another EEC-supportedproject in 1983–84 to study tungsten-antimony mineralisation on Ymer Ø included drilling at twolocalities in Margerie Dal. Extensive negotiations in 1983–84 concerning concessions to explore for and exploit oil and gas inthe Jameson Land Basin by Nordisk Mineselskab and ARCO led to granting of an exclusive concessionin 1984. At the same time the original Nordisk Mineselskab concession rights were relinquished, andreplaced by six exclusive mineral concessions and one concession for hydrocarbons. However, theseconcessions lapsed when Nordisk Mineselskab closed down in 1990.1953–54 Zoogeographical investigations – Christian VibeIn 1953 Christian Vibe visited the region around Mestersvig (72°13 N) to study birds and mammals. In1954 he returned to East Greenland with the object of catching a number of muskox calves. However, 28© A.K. Higgins
  • 29. reconnaissance flights in Jameson Land, Andrée Land and Ymer Ø (71°–73°N) revealed very fewcalves, and a very high death rate among muskox in the winter of 1953–54.1954 Danish–Norwegian expedition to the Stauning AlperA four-man climbing expedition explored the Vikingebræ region of the Stauning Alper (72°N). Threeparticipants (A.R. Heen, Ø. Roed and E. Jensen) took part in the ascent of their main objective,Norsketinde, which they originally called Eirik Rødes Tinde or Stortoppen. Two lesser peaksoverlooking Alpefjord (Hellefjeld and Skiferbjerg) were also climbed.1955 Cambridge expedition to East GreenlandAn ornithological expedition of five led by J.B. Latter visited Antarctic Havn and Fleming Fjord, andsucceeded in ringing 11 pink-footed and 299 barnacle geese.1955 Geodætisk Institut name registrationA party of two from the Danish Geodætisk Institut (Captain Balle and E. Laursen) were sent toScoresbysund in 1955 to record place names employed by the Greenlandic population in the region, aprocedure also carried out by the Geodætisk Institut in other parts of Greenland. Approximately 190names were registered, nearly all of them of the typically descriptive type, some of which clearlyoriginated from the earliest days of the settlement and were still in use.1955–64 Mestersvig geomorphological researchA.L. Washburn embarked in 1955 on a long running programme of geomorphological studies from abase adjacent to the airport at Mestersvig (72°13 N), in association with H.M. Raup, F. Ugolini andother scientists at different times. Reconnaissance studies in 1955 and 1956 were followed by the mainphase of the study which lasted from 1957–61, with follow-up studies in 1964. The headquarters of theexpedition were at Camp Tahoe, a house north of Tunnelelv on an abandoned section of road betweenNyhavn and Minebyen; this locality was subsequently known as Washburn’s Hus.1956 British North-East Greenland expeditionA party of six led by Thomas Wright visited the Hold with Hope area (74°N) to make observations ofpink-footed and barnacle geese. They travelled up with POLARBJØRN, and visited many localitiesbetween Loch Fyne and Ymer Ø.1956 Zoological investigations, led by Christian VibeChristian Vibe re-visited the Scoresby Sund region to study the population of muskox. Jameson Landand Liverpool Land were traversed on foot, and the interior of the fjord system overflown usingCatalina aircraft.1956 W. D. Brooker – mountaineering in the Werner BjergeA party led by W. D. Brooker is reported to have climbed two peaks in the Werner Bjerge (includingMalmbjerg; 72°N), and two peaks in the Stauning Alper.1956 Operation DefrostA four-man party led by S.M. Needleman carried out a reconnaissance survey of North Greenland forthe Air Force Cambridge Research Center to locate potential aircraft landing sites. The Centrumsøregion (79°N) of Kronprins Christian Land was visited from 15th–18th August. Investigations werecontinued in 1960 as Operation Groundhog.1957 Die Österreichische Grönlandexpedition, led by Hans GsellmanA party of eight, mainly Austrians, led by Hans Gsellman visited the Furesø and Stauning Alper region(72°N). The party flew by Catalina directly to the Dammen region of inner Alpefjord. Two men made aboat trip to the west end of Furesø and climbed a peak overlooking Violin Gletscher. Sefström Gletscherwas explored and a total of 19 summits were climbed, including 11 claimed first ascents. The latterincluded Sefströmtinde and Sefströmgipfel, both over 2700 m high. The party had some difficulty 29© A.K. Higgins
  • 30. leaving the area, and were eventually transported out from Dammen aboard Knud Lauritsen’s motorboat NETTA DAN (also referred to as VIPPA DAN).1958 Scottish East Greenland expedition, led by Malcolm SlesserA nine-member climbing expedition led by C.G.M. (Malcolm) Slesser explored the Bersærkerbræ andSefström Gletscher area of the Staunung Alper (72°N), and made first ascents of Merchiston Tinde,Dunottar Bjerg and Tantallon Spids. A crossing was made of the south Stauning Alper from Alpefjordto Sydkap, and the first traverse of the central Stauning Alper from Gully Gletscher to Bersærkerbræwas completed via Col Major (Majorpasset). Limited glaciological work was carried out on lowerSefström Gletscher. A few climbs were also made west of Alpefjord.1958 Zoological investigations, led by Christian VibeChristian Vibe and Torben Andersen visited the Scoresby Sund region (70°–72°N) to continue studiesof muskox. In co-operation with Lauge Koch’s expedition, large areas were overflown by Catalina, withlandings in Gåseland, Charcot Land and Rypefjord.1958 Carlsbergfondets Scoresby Sund expeditionBotanical and biological studies were carried out by two parties, supported financially by the CarlsbergFoundation. Co-operation with Lauge Koch’s expedition provided air transport facilities. Parties visitedmany localities between Gåseland (70°N) in the south, and Geographical Society Ø and Ella Ø (73°N)in the north.1958–59 GGU expeditions to Kap StoschIn both 1958 and 1959 small parties led by Svend E. Bendix-Almgren, with GGU support, visited theKap Stosch region (74°10 N) to make geological and palaeontological collections.1959 Operation Groundhog IIIAn investigation of ice-free sites for emergency aircraft landings was carried out between 70°–74°N inEast Greenland by scientists of the Air Force Cambridge Research Center and the United StatesGeological Survey under Air Force contract. The six-man scientific party, led by J.M. Hartshorn, wasbased on USS ATKA and operated in the region from August 15th to September 10th. Of numerouspotential sites selected from studies of aerial photographs, many were inspected briefly by helicopter,and a few were mapped and marked out. Special attention was given to sites around Scoresbysund,southern Ymer Ø and Stordal. Helge Larsen accompanied the party and made archaeologicalobservations.1959–60 Tristan Jones voyage with the CRESSWELLTristan Jones made a single-handed voyage to East Greenland via Iceland in his yacht CRESSWELL.After reaching Scoresby Sund (70°N) in August 1959, he sailed northwards along the coast almost toKap Bismarck , but was trapped in the pack ice, and drifted with the ice down to the latitude of ScoresbySund, where he met GUSTAV HOLM. Refusing an offer of a lift to Iceland, Jones with CRESSWELLoverwintered at Sydkap from October 1959 to May 1960. After leaving East Greenland Jones sailed forSpitzbergen, where he was again caught in pack ice and CRESSWELL was lost.1959–61 American glaciological expeditionsFred Pessl and Norman P. Lasca carried out glaciological studies around the head of Mesters Vig(72°N) in 1959 and 1961, funded from American sources, and with local help from NordiskMineselskab.1959–64 Geodætisk InstitutAerial photography was carried out for the Geodætisk Institut over large areas of North and EastGreenland from a base at Station Nord in northern Kronprins Christian Land. Vertical photographs at ascale of 1:50,000 were obtained for the entire region north of 76°N, while a number of oblique routeswere flown in the Scoresby Sund region in 1961. Surveying teams carried out triangulation in 1963 30© A.K. Higgins
  • 31. supported by the ships TYCHO BRAHE and OLE RØMER.1960 Operation GroundhogAir Force Cambridge Research Center and the U.S. Geological Survey under Air Force contract carriedout scientific studies and investigations of emergency aircraft landing strips at Centrumsø, culminatingin test landings by C-130 Hercules aircraft. The scientific parties, led by S.M. Needleman, receivedsome support from the U.S. Army Operation Lead Dog working on the ice cap nearby.1960 British East Greenland expeditionJohn Hunt led a party of 38, including 21 boys, on a largely climbing expedition to the Stauning Alper(c. 72°N). Several first ascents were made around Bersærkerbræ, including that of the Hjørnespids.From Alpefjord, reached using POLYPEN, the party traversed via Spærregletscher and Duart Gletscherinto the southern Stauning Alper, where several summits were climbed around Bjørnbo Gletcher.1960 USAF aerial photographyA limited number of vertical aerial photography routes were flown by the United States Air Force overparts of the Scoresby Sund region (70°–72°N).1961–THE PRESENTActivities from 1961 to the present are too numerous to be described individually here. After about 1960the relatively easy access to East Greenland provided by the existence of a manned airfield atMestersvig seems to have become widely known. As a result the trickle of independent climbing andscientific expeditions visiting the region developed into a steady stream, that has continued to thepresent day. Numerous mountaineering expeditions in the 1960s and 1970s were sponsored byUniversity and local climbing clubs from Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and other countries. Alarge number of scientific expeditions were mounted from British universities, with a great range ofobjectives including ornithology, botany, zoology, glaciology and geology, often in combination withclimbing. The majority of expeditions travelling to Mestersvig have made use of chartered aircraft basedin Iceland. After arrival, many expedition groups made long walks to reach their working areas in theStauning Alper or Jameson Land, while small boats were used to reach the large islands north of KongOscar Fjord or the inner fjord region. Within a few years, a small village of expedition huts grew up inMestersvig where boats, equipment and supplies were stored, with a view to utilization by expeditionsin subsequent years. From about the late 1960s or early 1970s helicopters were staioned at Mestersvig,and although very expensive to hire were used by some expeditions to reach areas at greater distances.Occasionally small expeditions made use of the annual supply ships (KISTA DAN, THALA DAN andothers) to reach the settlement at Scoresbysund, and then hired local boats to reach southern JamesonLand or the Blosseville Kyst. Large self-supporting expeditions, with their own helicopter or shiptransport, have been undertaken by a variety of Danish government departments, to carry out a range ofsystematic investigations throughout East Greenland. Large Swedish and German expeditions withgovernment or university support have also been active. The use of small aircraft, and in particular theversatile Twin-Otter, which has a large payload and STOL (short-takeoff-and-landing) capabilities, hasrevolutionised transport within East Greenland. Initially Twin-Otter aircraft were used mainly by theGeological Survey of Greenland, the Geodetic Institute and the Sirius Sledge Patrol, often under jointcharter arrangements. In recent years Twin-Otter aircraft equipped with skis have been extensivelyemployed, for example by climbing groups wishing to reach remote areas of unclimbed nunataks. InOctober 1985 Mestersvig airport was officially closed, and the airport built at Constable Pynt by theNordisk Mineselskab / ARCO consortium undertaking oil exploration activities in Jameson Land wasopened. However, the airport at Mestersvig was kept open until recently by a small Danish militarygroup, to the great benefit of expeditions wishing to visit the North-East Greenland National Park andthe scientific station operated by the Danish Polar Centre at Zackenberg. Some of the main activitiesfrom 1961 to the present day are briefly summarised below. The Geological Survey of Greenland sent a two-man expedition to the Scoresby Sund region in 31© A.K. Higgins
  • 32. 1967, working from a small cutter (JYTTE). This reconnaissance expedition was following by five majorself-supporting expeditions of 31–44 participants, which from 1968–1972 undertook a systematicgeological mapping programme throughout the region 70°–72°N. Initially expedition ships (MARTINKARLSEN, MAGGA DAN, PERLA DAN) were used as floating bases for the two helicopters. Subsequentlytent base camps were used, with 2–3 helicopters and a STOL aircraft providing transport for the fieldteams. From 1973–1976 Survey geologists worked in co-operation with the Danish Atomic EnergyCommission, undertaking aeromagnetic surveys and ground-based fieldwork in the region 72°–76°Nfrom a base at Stordal. Regional mapping activities by the Survey continued throughout NorthGreenland between 1978 and 1985, but in 1978–1979 some mapping was undertaken by a few groups innorthern Kronprins Christian Land. Major regional mapping expeditions by the Geological Surveysubsequently mapped the region 75°–78°N (Dove Bugt region) in the years 1988–1990 from bases atFligely Fjord and Hvalrosodden, and the region 78°–81°N (Lambert Land) from a base at Centrumsø inthe years 1993–1995. The Kong Oscar Fjord region between 72° and 75°N was mapped during the1997–1998 summers, using Mestersvig as the main base. From 1967–1969 the Geodetic Institut carried out surveying projects on the Blosseville Kyst and inthe Scoresby Sund region using their boats OLE RØMER and TYCHO BRAAH. Some aerial photographywas also flown. OLE RØMER was again used on the Blosseville Kyst in 1972–1973, to improve pointcontrol, while aerial photography was undertaken in selected regions. In 1973 the aerial photographyproject was brought to an untimely end when the plane crashed at Mestersvig. In 1975–1976 OLERØMER operated in the region 72°–76°N, improving the regional trigonometric network, and re-surveying some old Norwegian fixed points. A new programme of wide-angle aerial photography, thatwas eventually to cover all of Greenland, was carried out in North Greenland and East Greenland (northof 76°N) in 1978. An equally ambitious programme to establish a new fixed point network throughoutNorth and East Greenland was also completed in the early 1980s. The wide-angle photography projectcontinued south of 76°N in 1983–1986. These resulting high quality aerial photographs, used inconjunction with the new fixed points, have formed the basis for new topographic maps of the entireNational Park area at scales of 1:250,000 and 1:100,000. Other Danish scientific studies have included Christian Vibe’s zological studies of muskox (1961,1964, 1969), that included capturing muskox calves, and from 1973–1975 observations and marking ofpolar bear in the North-East Greenland National Park (established in 1974). The granting of concessionsto undertake commercial geohysical investigations on Jameson Land by oil companies led to anintensive programme of archeological, zoological and botanical studies by GFM, GBU, ZoologicalMuseum, Vildtbiologisk Station Kalø and Grønlands Landsmuseum between 1981 and 1987. Farthernorth in North-East Greenland Eigil Knuth discovered extensive palaeoeskimo ruins on Île de France,and carried out several seasons of studies in the late 1980s. Scientific expeditions sponsored by European and North American universities have been many andvaried. Geoffrey Halliday led a series of expeditions with ornithological and botanical objectives underthe auspicies of Leicester and Lancaster Universities, extending over 30 years (1961, 1962, 1971, 1974,1980, 1990). Peter Friend of Cambridge University carried out studies of the Devonian conglomerates inthe region north of Mestersvig from 1968–1970. Keith J. Miller, also of Cambridge University,undertook glaciological investigations, mainly in the Stauning Alper, in 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1975. AFrench group (Groupe de Recherches en Ecologie Arctique – GREA) embarked on a programme ofecological studies in 1979, with subsequent seasons in 1982, 1984–1986 and 1988–1991, mainly carriedout on the large islands of Traill Ø and Geographical Society Ø. A small party of North Americangeologists, led by K.G. Swett, made important studies of the Lower Palaeozoic succession in 1983–1984. A British university group, led by Mike Hambrey, studied the Vendian tillites of the outer fjordand inner nunatak region in the 1984–1985 field seasons. The Alfred Wegener Institute embarked on asystematic series of geophysical investigations that lasted with intervals from 1988 to 1999. Theseinvestigations covered most of northern East Greenland, and were carried out using the research vesselPOLARSTERN and specially adapted aircraft. A series of Harvard University expeditions, led by Farish AJenkins, carried out studies of Triassic vertebrate fossils in north-eastern parts of Jameson Land (1988, 32© A.K. Higgins
  • 33. 1989, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2001), with some notable finds of dinosaur tracks. The British North-EastGreenland expeditions from 1992–1995, led by Rob David, carried out archaeological, botanical, andornithological studies. From 1995 onwards, studies of Caledonian orogenic processes have been carriedout by geologists based at Oslo University, with the main focus on major extensional faults. The various branches of the British armed forces have organised a large number of mountaineeringand arctic training expeditions to East Greenland, with activities almost every summer since 1977. Somewere organised as Joint Service Expeditions, some by the Army Mountaineering Association, and othersby individual regiments. The most favoured locations have been those that can be approached from theairports at Mestersvig and Constable Pynt, with inflateable rubber boats being used to reach areasfarther afield. In 1977 Angus Erskine embarked on a programme of so called ‘ecological expeditions’, suitable forphysically active individuals, that combined walking tours with ascents of minor peaks, andornithological and zoological observations. Expeditions from 1977–1980 were mainly in the Mestersvigarea, with up to 13 participants. A second series of expeditions from 1982–1990 had the same range ofactivities, mainly in the Mestersvig and Hurry Inlet areas, and with 14–22 people. In 1991, ArcturusExpeditions took over Erskine Expeditions, and in subsequent years broadened the scope of activities toinclude dogsledging and sking. Tangent Expeditions (Paul H. Walker) was established in 1988, andspecialises in skiing and mountaineering expeditions in the arctic. Activities in the National Park areastarted about 1998, with Tangent providing logistic support for individual expeditions as well asorganising their own expeditions, and with extensive use of Twin Otter aircraft to reach unexplorednunatak areas. Nanu Travel was founded in 1998 in Ittoqqortoormiit / Scoresbysund, and specialises inorganising dog sledge tours and boat tours in the Scoresby Sund region. Increasing numbers of tourists,who require greater comfort and luxury, visit North-East Greenland aboard ice-strengthened cruiseships, whose Arctic cruises usually start or finish in Iceland, Spitsbergen or West Greenland. The British Schools Exploration Society (now BSES) is a youth development charity that organisesexpeditions to wild and trackless regions. In 1988 a group of 77 visited the Mestersvig region under theleadership of Ray Ward and George Downy, and undertook long walking tours. This was followed up in1990 by a second expedition of 48 to the same region led by Ray Ward. A third expedition toMestersvig in 1998 involved 58 young adventurers and 17 leaders. The most recent BSES expeditionwas a large party that visited Liverpool Land in 2003, reached via the airport at Constable Pynt.___________________________________________________________________________________© A.K. HigginsThis account of exploration in East Greenland between latitudes 69° and 82°N is summarised from anaccount of the place names and exploration history of northern East Greenland by A.K. (Tony) Higgins,expected to be published in Meddelelser om Grønland, Man & Society in 2005 or 2006.___________________________________________________________________________________ 33© A.K. Higgins

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